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

Monday, March 19, 2018

Judge hands Bonanno rat probation for turning on cousin in famous Goodfellas heist

Aging Bonanno capo Vinny Asaro got a walk for his role in the infamous 1978 Lufthansa air cargo heist when a Brooklyn jury acquitted him in 2015 — and Monday the turncoat cousin who ratted him out for the feds strolled out of court with just three years probation for the same robbery.
Gaspare Valenti, who’d faced up to 20 years behind bars on racketeering charges, got the sweetheart deal after agreeing to turn government witness against Asaro and a steady stream of others since the trial for the iconic airport heist that would go on to be immortalized in Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas.”
Valenti apologized Monday before he was sentenced by the same judge who oversaw the Lufthansa trial.
“I changed my life around and I have a lot of remorse for the crimes I committed, for the victims, for my family,” he told Brooklyn federal Judge Allyne Ross.
Ross — who recently sentenced Asaro to eight years in prison after he pleaded guilty to arson charges in an unrelated road-rage incident — agreed.
“I consider Mr. Valenti’s cooperation to be extraordinary,” the judge said, before calling the former mobster “one of the most valuable cooperators in my 25 years on the bench.”
Valenti testified in 2015 about the JFK robbery, where some $6 million in cash and jewels were swiped from a cargo terminal, a heist first described in Nicholas Pileggi’s 1985 book “Wiseguy,” which was adapted into the 1990 film starring Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta.
Valenti also testified that his cousin Asaro had strangled mob associate Paul Katz, whom Valenti admitted to helping bury.
Katz had a Queens warehouse that served as a holding area for items stolen by Lucchese associate and purported Lufthansa mastermind Jimmy “The Gent” Burke, on whom the DeNiro character was based.
After it was raided by agents, Burke suspected that Katz had talked to law enforcement and killed him with a dog chain with Asaro, Valenti testified.
Assistant US Attorney Nicole Argentieri — whom Asaro tried to have whacked last year — said Monday that Valenti’s cooperation had offered relief for the Katz family, who didn’t know for 10 years what became of their father.
Meanwhile, in the same courthouse, another Bonanno associate and Asaro relative, Ronald Giallanzo, pleaded guilty to loansharking, extortion and other charges.
“In each case there was an implied threat that if the money was not paid it would come to violence or other means,” Giallanzo told the court, dabbing his face with a tissue.
He faces up to 20 years behind bars when sentenced.



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