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Arrest Made in Fabled ’78 ‘Goodfellas’ Heist

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tags: heists, Lufthansa, Goodfellas




Several organized crime figures have been arrested as part of a federal investigation into a series of unsolved crimes, including the infamous 1978 Lufthansa heist at Kennedy International Airport, according to a racketeering indictment unsealed Thursday morning.

The indictment reads like a greatest hits collection of the Mafia: armored truck heists, murder, attempted murder, extortion and bookmaking. But the crime that garnered the most attention was the Lufthansa robbery, where a group of robbers stole about $5 million in cash and nearly $1 million in jewels from a Lufthansa cargo building in December 1978 — the largest cash robbery in the nation’s history at the time.

The robbery, a key plotline in the movie “Goodfellas,” was also infamous for how it frustrated investigators; the only person ever convicted in the heist was a Lufthansa cargo agent, described as the “inside man” in the plot. Other suspects were found slain, or disappeared; the man thought to be the mastermind of the robbery, James (Jimmy the Gent) Burke, died in 1996 in prison, where he was serving a life sentence for an unrelated murder....

Read entire article at New York Times

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