If changing demographics and the longer elapsed time since the era of John Gotti and Jimmy Burke meant Ozone Park was losing its notoriety as a mob epicenter, the arrival of men in FBI shirts and the sound of jackhammers under a blue tent in a driveway may serve to jog the memory.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation popped up Monday at the home of Catherine Burke, daughter of mobster Jimmy Burke, at 81-48 102 Road in Ozone Park and have been working on the site all week.
The home, which one neighbor said is occupied by an elderly couple renting from Burke, is at the center of an FBI investigation. Catherine Burke’s most recent address was in Howard Beach. Jimmy Burke died in prison in 1996 while serving a 20-years-to-life sentence for murder.
A spokesman for the federal agency would not comment on the investigation, but multiple published reports cited sources saying the investigation may be connected to an ongoing probe into the Lufthansa Heist — the 1978 theft of millions of dollars in cargo from the Lufthansa cargo terminal at JFK Airport that was a big part of the plot in the 1990 movie “Goodfellas.”
Burke was the basis of the character Jimmy Conway in that film, portrayed by Robert De Niro.
The reports also indicate investigators are looking for possible human remains, perhaps victims murdered in the wake of the Lufthansa Heist.
On Tuesday morning, agents walked into and out of the blue tent set up in the sunken driveway of the home, which was built in 1967. The sound of jackhammers could be heard coming from inside the tent. Another tent has been set up in the backyard of the home facing Liberty Avenue.
A former resident of 102nd Road said work was done on the house and the driveway in the early 1990s.
Burke was an associate of the Lucchese crime family, but was never a full member because he was not of Italian descent. He was sent to prison for the murder of Robert Eaton, whose body was found in a freezer truck in Brooklyn, tortured and hogtied.