Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese, and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Turncoat Gambino gangster testifies at Lufthansa heist trial


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Several years after the spectacular 1978 Lufthansa heist, Bonanno hood Vincent Asaro rounded up his crew to do another job — punish another mobster for shooting a dog.

An accused killer who apparently loves animals more than people, Asaro was furious when Peter "Bud" Zuccaro shot a guard dog protecting his nephew’s auto body shop.

Testifying Wednesday at Asaro’s racketeering trial, Zuccaro said the dog went after him because he just returned from a robbery and was wearing a disguise. He did not specify if it was “Champ” or “Blackjack.”

“The dog zeroed in on me, jumped over the desk, I guess he didn’t recognize me, as started chewing on my arm,” the 60-year-old mob turncoat testified. “I shot him in the head. He mauled my arm. I had no choice.”

Later, Zuccaro said in Brooklyn federal court, Asaro showed up at his home with other members of the gang that pulled off the $6 million robbery at Kennedy Airport that was immortalized in the movie “Goodfellas.”

There was James "Jimmy the Gent" Burke, the murderous architect of the heist portrayed in the mob movie by Robert De Niro, and his son, Frank, Zuccaro told the court.

Asaro also brought along more muscle — Tommy DeSimone, who was played in the flick by Joe Pesci, and Parnell "Stacks" Edwards, who was depicted by Samuel L. Jackson.

Zuccaro, an admitted murderer and pot purveyor currently in witness protection, testified Wednesday in Asaro's trial.

The beef was later settled without anybody getting hurt by then-Bonanno capo Joseph Massino, who broke with the mob in 2011 and is also testifying against Asaro.

“Joe, I’m your brother, who do you believe?” Asaro complained, according to Zuccaro.

“I believe you but this kid (Zuccaro) is no liar,” Massino replied, he said. 

Zuccaro was followed on the stand by a parade of retired FBI agents and by the end of the day 80-year-old Asaro was ranting to Judge Allyne Ross about his lawyers.

“FBI agent after FBI agent after FBI agent, all I want my lawyers to ask, 'Was Mr. Asaro doing anything wrong?'" the grumpy geezer griped. "I'm not questioning my lawyers ability but they don't question them. I’m not being represented the way I want to be."

Ross assured Asaro that his lawyers are "fabulous."
 
Asaro, 80, is also accused of helping mobster Frank Burke strangle a snitch with a dog chain.

Earlier Zuccaro, a mob rat who was once one of Gambino boss John Gotti’s most loyal henchmen, testified there was not much honor among the Lufthansa thieves.

Frank Burke, he said, blabbed about the robbery and said Asaro and his cousin, Gaspare Valenti, were also involved.

“He led me to believe he was set for life,” Zuccaro said of Frank Burke. “Frankie said Vinny kept Gaspare’s end (of the Lufthansa loot) and was trying to blame Jimmy Burke.”

Valenti later took revenge by secretly taping incriminating conversations with Asaro and testifying this month at his trial.

In this Dec. 13, 1978, file photo, police cordon off an area around a stolen black van discovered in Brooklyn that was used in the $6 million heist.

Asaro is also accused of helping Burke strangle a snitch with a dog chain and burying the body beneath the basement of a Long Island home.

Zuccaro, an admitted murderer and pot purveyor in witness protection, also related the now familiar mob tale of how he and another hood beat — and shot in the buttocks — Victoria Gotti's then-boyfriend Carmine Agnello on orders from Victoria's father.

Agnello’s crime was beating up the Mafia Princess.

Like Asaro, Zuccaro is from a section of East New York they all call “The Hole.”

“It looked like a meteor hit something,” he told the court. “It was a hole below sea level.”

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/lufthansa-trial-witness-asaro-upset-killed-dog-article-1.2414778


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