Vincent Asaro, a prominent figure in the Bonanno crime family, has died at the age of 86. His death comes three years after his release from prison for health reasons and marks the end of a life deeply entwined with organized crime.

Born in 1937 in Ozone Park, Asaro followed his family’s criminal legacy, eventually ascending to the rank of captain within the Bonanno family by the mid-1970s.

However, it was his involvement in the daring 1978 Lufthansa heist at JFK Airport, masterminded by James “Jimmy the Gent” Burke (immortalized by Robert DeNiro in “Goodfellas”), that propelled him into the criminal spotlight. The meticulously planned heist, conceived by a crew that included Asaro, had aimed for a $2 million haul but ultimately netted over $6 million in cash and jewelry.

Despite his cousin Gaspare Valenti testifying against him, implicating their involvement in the heist, Asaro managed to evade conviction for this audacious robbery and an unrelated gangland murder in 1969.

Yet, his encounters with the law persisted. In 2017, Asaro faced charges again, this time for orchestrating an arson attack on a driver who had cut him off in traffic in 2012. He admitted his role, pleaded guilty, and received an eight-year prison sentence, which was cut short in 2020 due to health concerns, particularly the threat of COVID-19.

The exact cause of Asaro’s recent passing remains undisclosed. Nonetheless, his name will forever be linked to the world of organized crime. His funeral is scheduled to be held at St. Helen’s Catholic Church in Queens, marking the end of an era in the realm of organized crime.