Friday, November 27, 2015
Feds Again Fail To Make Their Case In A Big Mob Trial
Veteran organized crime reporter and author George Anastasia offers a look at the recent "Goodfellas" federal trial and other federal trials of reputed organized crime figures at Bigtrial.net.
Have the feds lost their mojo when it comes to the mob?
That's certainly a reasonable question after another organized crime prosecution ended with a not guilty verdict last week. The acquittal of Vince Asaro, an 80-year-old reputed mob capo, in a case in federal court in Brooklyn, is the latest example of federal authorities coming up short in a high profile Mafia trial.
The same could be said for the last three Mafia prosecutions in Philadelphia where, at best, the feds could only claim partial victories.
Asaro, an alleged member of the Bonanno Crime Family, was charged with murder, extortion and robbery, including being one of the organizers of the infamous Lufthansa Airline heist celebrated in the movie Goodfellas. Mobsters made off with more than $5 million in cash and $1 million in jewelry after hitting a storage facility at JFK Airport in 1978.
While the robbery was allegedly set in motion by mob associate James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke (Robert DeNiro played a character based on Burke in the film), no one had ever been charged with the crime until Asaro was indicted two years ago. By then most of the others involved were dead. Burke died in prison after being convicted of other offenses.
The Asaro trial was billed by the New York Times as the last big mob trial in New York, a development based in part on the steady demise of the American Mafia and in equal part on a shift in prosecutorial interest to terrorism, drug trafficking and corruption.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: