Criminal Justice Professor in the NY Daily News

How the feds taking down mob boss 'Vinny Gorgeous' helped pad a Bronx police chief's wallet

By Robert Lewis WNYC

When the feds crippled the Bonanno crime family in the late 2000s, there was a surprising winner - one of the NYPD's highest ranking officers.

Assistant Chief Edward Delatorre, a major real estate investor in the Bronx, scooped up four properties owned by or connected to acting boss Vincent Basciano - aka "Vinny Gorgeous" - and a mob captain, Dominick Cicale, who pleaded guilty to murder and testified against his old boss.

Delatorre's bounty includes a piece of mafia history - a lot on Robinson Ave. where the gang held their induction ceremonies in the mid-2000s. It also includes a series of complicated transactions for an apartment building that actually resulted in the mob essentially owing the chief's wife more than $650,000.

Delatorre was the subject of a WNYC story last year revealing that he owns a private security company, did business with local Bronx politicians, and bought the properties of a missing loan shark at a below market price from the man's grieving daughter while the NYPD was still investigating the disappearance.

John Laffey, a retired deputy chief who now teaches criminal justice at Molloy College and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said Delatorre is a good guy and a good commander, but it's time for the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau to investigate.

"The number of instances that involve people who have been involved in organized crime would raise an alarm," Laffey said. "The investigation is to protect the interests of Chief Delatorre, because these transactions might be absolutely innocent. And it also needs to protect the reputation of the New York City Police Department as well as the City of New York."

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