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A reputed NYC mobster will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars because he couldn’t control his road rage.
According to the New York Times, 82-year-old Vincent Asaro was sentenced to eight years in prison Thursday for ordering his associates to torch the car of a motorist who had cut him off in 2012.
“I don’t care what happens to me,” Asaro told U.S. District Judge Allyne R. Ross. “What you sentenced me to is a death sentence anyway.”
Prosecutors filed charges against Asaro earlier this year, accusing him of placing a hit on the vehicle that switched lanes in front of him in Howard Beach, Queens. Co-defendants Matthew Rullan and John J. Gotti were accused of using a local law enforcement database to track down the owner’s home address using the license plate number. Once they had the driver’s location, the men allegedly went to the motorist’s home and set his vehicle on fire.
Asaro, an alleged member of the Bonanno crime family, pleaded guilty to the arson charges back in June; however, he claimed he never met or knew the person who actually torched the car.
“It was a stupid thing I did and I'm terribly sorry,” he said after accepting a guilty plea. “I was on my way home—it happened. It just got out of hand.”
Defense attorney Elizabeth Macedonio said Thursday’s decision was “not about arson” but about previous charges for which he had been acquitted. In 2015, Asaro was found not guilty of charges related to the 1978 heist at the Lufthansa cargo terminal at JFK International Airport, a robbery featured in Martin Scorsese’s mobster flick Goodfellas. He was also accused of participating in the 1969 murder of suspected law enforcement informant Paul Katz.
Judge Ross admitted she had reviewed evidence from the cases before making her decision Thursday.
“The anger that propelled Asaro to action is reminiscent of so many scripted Hollywood dramas, but unlike the fame and fortune of the big screen, Asaro's story ends on a different note,” the head of New York's FBI office, William F. Sweeney Jr. said in a press release. “Today's sentence proves that living life in the fast lane is sure to be short lived.”