A reputed mobster was found not guilty of planning a brazen 1978 airport heist that helped to inspire the Mafia film Goodfellas.
After the verdict, the 80-year old Vincent Asaro walked out of the courthouse in Brooklyn and threw his hands to the air, shouting: “Free!”
He was cleared of murder, extortion and other offenses after a three-week trial.
His arrest last year had raised hopes that one of the most notorious unsolved crimes in the country’s will be closed.
The larceny by masked men of $1m in jewels from a Lufthansa Airlines cargo building at The Big Apple ‘s John F Kennedy Airport and $5m in cash was the biggest robbery ever carried out in the time.
Prosecutors said Mr Asaro waited in a decoy car of a mile away with another gangster Jimmy Burke, who inspired the character played by Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese’s cult film.