New York may have recorded a dramatic fall in crime this year – including the lowest annual murder total since the 1950s – but a sentencing hearing in Brooklyn on Thursday revealed the persistence of some of the city’s most famous criminal traditions.
Prosecutors allege that Vincent Asaro (82) was inducted into the Bonanno crime syndicate more than 40 years ago and has held the position of captain and been a member of the family’s ruling panel.
He was charged – and acquitted two years ago – over the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist – which was immortalised in the Martin Scorsese gangster classic Goodfellas.
He was also acquitted of the murder by strangulation of a suspected informant in 1969.
On Thursday however Asaro was sentenced to eight years in prison for his part in a road rage incident in the mob stronghold of Howard Beach – Queens.