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JULY 07 - JULY 15, 2015

Series to Chronicle Life of FBI Special Agent J. Gary DiLaura

By Tony Farina

JULY 7, 2015

Love him or hate him, J. Gary DiLaura has an opinion on just about everyone and everything with whom he came in contact.
J. Gary DiLaura came across a lot of individuals in his legendary career. One of them was Mafia boss John Gotti. It did not end well for Gotti.

If you read this newspaper, you may have read a column or two by J. Gary DiLaura called “The Right Side,” a provocative, conservative-leaning view of the world in the words of a former special agent of the FBI.

Over the next several weeks, we’re going to take a peek at the life of this retired crime fighter now living in Niagara Falls who spent the last 20 years of his 29-year FBI career in the Buffalo office, one of 56 field offices in the United States and one of three in New York State (Albany, New York).

In his day, Agent DiLaura, who characterized himself as a “hustler,” was no shrinking violet sitting around an office drinking coffee.

He was an aggressive lawman who was involved in street shootouts, the Oklahoma City bombing investigation and Timothy McVeigh, and local cases involving familiar names like Niagara Falls plumber John Gross.

DiLaura investigated and subsequently arrested numerous high profile Western New York figures from the political, business and crime worlds, including a raft of them residing in Niagara County.

DiLaura didn’t always go by the book, and at times did it his way, leading to confrontations with his superiors but winning him many honors during a career that was marked by dangerous street confrontations with armed hoodlums and sharing the back seat of a car with New York crime boss John Gotti.

And how about investigating the robbery of screen actress Sophia Loren in New York City, a scene she did not want published for personal reasons.

It is all part of the DiLaura journey, and we will take a look at some of those drama-filled moments in the career of a special agent who went to Niagara Falls High School and now makes a living running a self-storage business, a far cry from his FBI days.

Of course, DiLaura’s Buffalo stop included working with two men who now sit as federal judges, the Hon. Richard Arcara and the Hon. William Skretny.

Judge Arcara was the United States attorney in Buffalo when DiLaura got here in 1975 after five years in wild and wooly New York City.

Cases put together by the FBI are prosecuted at the federal level, and Arcara would have been at the top of the food chain for federal prosecutions in Buffalo when DiLaura came to town and Judge Skretny was a first assistant under Arcara.

DiLaura remembers both men well, and sings their praises as prosecutors who were courageous and committed to bringing true criminals to justice, while safeguarding the due process rights of the innocent until proven guilty.

So for the next several weeks, we will examine some of the experiences of special agent J. Gary DiLaura and kind of put you right in the seat with him in that unmarked FBI car as he strives to bring the guilty to justice and make us all a little safer.

In a way, my time as an investigative reporter in Buffalo corresponds pretty closely with DiLaura’s time here as a special agent.  We will also examine that connection as part of the series on this former hard-charging crime fighter.

Look for Part I of the J. Gary DiLaura story next week.






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Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina