Gotti, Wiseguy Vinny Asaro Plead Guilty in Road-Rage Revenge Case

Updated at End
Bonanno mobster Vincent Asaro and John J. Gotti, grandson and namesake of the late Gambino crime family boss, pleaded guilty yesterday in Brooklyn federal court to charges related to the aftermath of a road rage incident.

An unlikely duo....

Asaro and Gotti were indicted for torching a car that belonged to a man who had the temerity to drive in front of Asaro at a traffic light in New York City traffic.

Asaro was acquitted in 2015 of charges that he masterminded the notorious $6 million Lufthansa heist in 1978. Asaro, Gotti and a third man indicted in the case will not be sentenced until Oct. 24.

In court yesterday, Asaro, of Queens, found time to grandstand, pointedly telling U.S. District Judge Allyne Ross, in no uncertain terms, that he would never, ever cooperate and that he didn’t even know the name of whoever had committed the arson.

“I made arrangements with this person to take care of it, and it was done,” he said. (Probably not the smartest move, either, see below.)

Gotti, 23, of Queens, said he agreed with “others” to burn the vehicle in Broad Channel, Queens. “Together we set fire to the vehicle,” he said. “My role was to drive the getaway car.” Gotti also admitted to participating in a bank robbery.

Gotti is already serving an 8-year sentence in state prison for running a million-dollar drug-dealing ring. Federal prosecutors reportedly agreed to recommend that half his federal sentence run concurrent with his state sentence.

Asaro is 82. "(His) criminal activities have not slowed with age," federal prosecutors (somewhat unnecessarily?) detailed in a memo last March to oppose bail for the Bonanno crime family member (allegedly, for more than 30 years).

In the memo they detailed the events that led to the arson.

Asaro was driving in Howard Beach on April 1, 2012, when another motorist switched lanes in front of him at a traffic light. Asaro, enraged, chased the car but apparently lost it. In any event, later, with the help of an associate, the elderly mobster somehow, someway managed to track down the driver’s address. Asaro (who clearly had a lot of free time on his hands) instructed another associate to torch the car. Gotti, 23, and Matthew Rullan, 27, aka Fat Matt, were enlisted to help.

On April 4, 2012, the three -- an unnamed associate, Gotti and Rullan -- rode in Gotti’s Jaguar to a gas station, filled a container with gas, then headed for the motorist’s home. The associate dumped the fuel on the vehicle, Rullan set it ablaze, and they all took off with Gotti behind the wheel.

A police officer in an unmarked car had seen them, prosecutors noted. There was a chase during which Gotti was able to eventually lose the unmarked vehicle pursuing them.

On April 18, 2012, two weeks after the car-torching, Gotti and Rullan allegedly robbed the Maspeth Federal Savings and Loan Association in Queens.

Asaro, Gotti and Rullan will be sentenced on Oct. 24. Asaro faces 41 to 51 months, Gotti, anywhere from 60 to 71 months, as per federal sentencing guidelines.


I didn't follow up on a discrepancy I noticed in news reports. The New York Times, for example, said Asaro faced 20 years in prison versus those figures mentioned above. As usual, Gang Land News today not only noted that discrepancy, but made it the angle of the story.

As Jerry Capeci noted, "Asaro began squirming as the judge talked about what he was opening himself up to by his guilty plea. .....

"The judge noted that Asaro's 41-to-51 month sentencing guidelines in his plea agreement were not binding on her, and that she could give him more time than that if she chose. ... (Asaro) had signed an agreement stating that he faced a possible maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars."

I wish I could attend these court proceedings.


  1. A Gotti taking a plea? Times have changed...

    1. John Gotti Sr. didn't squeel for 2 reasons. He was obsessed with his own delusion of being the model mafiosi.
      And also, nobody wanted his cooperation. He was prime target of FBI.

      His grandson is a schmuck and he has no reputation to lose.

  2. Wow, the fact that he had to use Gotti's grandson for a job shows just how far outside the Bonanno inner circle Asaro is/was.
    Allie Shades

  3. Ironic that he beat a major case against him that would have meant a Life Sentence only to get caught up in this ridiculous case over basically nothing. The guy is in his 80's and if they hammer him he may just die behind bars. Not even for a big score, hit, sportsbook, Nothing! Just an angry old Wiseguy. Others have written that he was always a brokester and pretty unremarkable as a criminal. Fair play for being tough and taking his punishment like a man but just seems like a shitty ending. Good example of how unglamorous the life is for some of these guys.

    1. All because he got cut off! Asaro has a bad temper, he always got in trouble with his crime family for shooting his mouth off, I've heard. What would explain this is if another made guy was in the car with him. In other words, he had to save face.

    2. Posted by: RICO

      Asaro first pleaded "not guilty". The Govt. was seeking a long term sentence. Asaro withdrew the plea and entered a Guilty plea. He also waived his right to an indictment, instead, accepting an information. My guess is his menopausal attorney influenced his thinking that it was better than showing his hand. While it's at sometimes a good thing to hold your cards close, there's some downfalls to an Information. First, I have to guess that since there was a Plea involved, Asaro is smiling his slimy ass off right about now, thinking he's getting a sweet deal. The Govt. could have promised him the moon and the "key to NYC" in his plea agreement. That's great! For them, I mean! Here's the catch, in an Information, the Judge doesn't have to adhere to Federal Sentencing guidelines. I really hope the Judge gives this guy the max dose - he deserves it.

      As for the crimes he's plead guilty to? Asaro can withdraw his plea as many times as he wishes, if the Judge hasn't accepted it. Although I believe he has in this case. Nevertheless, he admitted to the crimes. Additionally, some people think these aren't crime worthy of jail and seem to think financial crimes are worse. They're all crimes. Asaro's are Violent Crimes. One has to also take into consideration any aggravating factors; Asaro is a repeat felon and conspiracy along with a very long list of factors influenced his case. Calling an psychotic person's conspiring to commit arson and ordering the crime is not "basically nothing". Give me your address, we'll see if you think it's basically nothing when your car is torched. Even for an 80 yr old. Actually, I have to laugh every time I hear that comment from people regarding his age - "Poor elderly man." That elderly man is a criminal, not just any criminal, he's a violent criminal and deserves to be in jail for the remainder of his life. He has repeatedly demonstrated his disregard for the laws of the state, laws of government, laws of society and for the right to life of other human beings. Don't forget about his threat to a Federal Prosecutor.

      Asaro also waived his right to seek other counsel. His attorney is representing his nephew, which has the potential to pose a conflict. Again, he's rolling the dice and taking his chance. The time will come (I'm hoping it does), and he'll be faced with an issue that could've been prevented, and he'll have to abandon a defense or line of questioning because he waived his rights. In the end, the best thing the Eastern District can do here is rid NYC and Howard Beach of this psycho for good.

    3. Great comment!! Keep em coming!!!

    4. Posted by: RICO Hey Kiddo! How're ya doin'??

  4. How much of our tax money does the government spend on surveillance, arresting, incarcerating, attorneys etc.. over sports books, loansharking. All with willing participants.
    Shouldn't they be going after terrorists, MS-13, etc..

    I'm not saying what these people do is right but the CEO of wall street and major banks rob people blind and don't see a day. An their victims are real victims.

    What they are doing is nothing but grandstanding. Justifying their salaries at the expense of taxpayers. That is the real crime here.

    1. Posted by: RICO Do people actually believe-in what they're writing? The owner of the torched car isn't a "real victim", I see. Whitecollar Defendants or any Defendant who has a good attorney or takes a plea will obviously fair better than one who doesn't. No insult intended, but that made no sense. Bernie Madoff went to prison. People go to jail for catching a fish out of season. People go to jail for accessing an abandoned building, even though they accessed the building to sleep, since they were homeless and it was sub-freezing temperatures. I wonder how people would think if the law and justice system was as they wish - just for one day.

      Well, I'm one hardworking taxpayer who doesn't mind funding courtroom investments if it means keeping me, my family, my City streets and our nation safe.

      To Ed, have a fun but safe holiday! I sent you an email the other day. ~~RICO


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