Remains found at late mobster’s NY home believed to be human READ MORE
FBI agents with jackhammers and shovels were digging Tuesday under a New York City house once occupied by a famed gangster who inspired Robert De Niro's character in the movie "Goodfellas."
James Burke, the late Lucchese crime family associate, is said to have buried victims in familiar places — including under the nearby saloon he ran.
On Monday, FBI investigators descended on the Queens neighborhood that was also home base for the late mobster John Gotti and his Gambino crime family. It's from here that Burke allegedly masterminded a nearly $6 million robbery at New York's Kennedy Airport in 1978 — one of the largest cash thefts in American history.
Neighbors were stunned by news that the house once occupied by "Jimmy the Gent" — as Burke was nicknamed for his tendency to tip heavily — may contain evidence of criminality.
The sources say the dig is not related the fabled 1978 Lufthansa Heist, where Burke, portrayed as Jimmy Conway by De Niro in "Goodfellas," and his fellow wiseguys pulled off an $8 million robbery at JFK, which at the time was the largest robbery in history and was featured in the film.
Many of the suspects eventually were murdered.
Only the body of Burke's closest friend, Thomas DeSimone, who was played by actor Joe Pesci, has never been found, but sources say they are not looking for his remains at Burke’s home.
Burke died in prison in 1996, after he was convicted of being involved in a Boston College basketball point shaving scandal and for a mob murder in Brooklyn. READ MORE