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Court transcripts detail police detective’s affair with stripper

Lawrence Rinetti Jr., a burly detective with the Metropolitan Police Department’s major violators unit, flirted with Gabriella DiLorenzo, a stripper with an admitted heroin addiction, the moment they met inside the Clark County Detention Center.

“I dance at clubs,” she later would explain to a grand jury. “And he made a reference to recognizing me at one of them, and I took it kind of like an innuendo.”

The details of how their more than yearlong affair began and ended were laid out in nearly 700 pages of grand jury transcripts made public this month. The testimony of DiLorenzo and 24 others led to an indictment against Rinetti on a mountain of charges, with a felony count against Michael Ramirez, a high-ranking director of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association.

Both men are free on bail and due in court Monday.

“Officer Ramirez will plead not guilty and require the prosecutors to prove their case against him beyond a reasonable doubt at the time of trial,” said his lawyer, David Roger, the former district attorney of Clark County.

Rinetti’s attorney, Tony Sgro, did not respond to messages seeking comment.

DiLorenzo, who is in jail on charges of burglary and conspiracy to commit grand larceny, also is due in court Monday.

‘You’re driving me crazy’

In early June 2018, Rinetti first met DiLorenzo at the jail. The detective would visit and flirt with her at least three more times while she was locked up.

The following month, a day after DiLorenzo’s release, Rinetti reached out to her again. They seduced each other for about a month before they started having sex, she testified.

By August of that year, Rinetti and DiLorenzo were seeing each other several times a day.

Metro detectives started hearing rumors that DiLorenzo, who has a history of run-ins with the law, might be dating a police officer. At the same time, Rinetti contacted his own department’s public integrity squad and provided information given to him by DiLorenzo about another officer.

As their affair intensified, she would have an Italian phrase, “Lorenzo Sono Pazzo Di,” inked on her back. Loosely translated, it read, “Lawrence you’re driving me crazy.”

On the morning of Nov. 12, 2018, Rinetti, a married man, woke up in bed with DiLorenzo inside a central Las Vegas home she rented from her mother and realized he was running late for an 8 a.m. firearms training course in Pahrump.

“So I suggested or asked why didn’t he just turn his lights on,” she testified. And he did.

He sped away, lights flashing, before slamming an unmarked Ford Explorer into a Chevy Malibu near the intersection of Russell Road and Rainbow Boulevard at 6:55 that morning. At the scene, Rinetti told a responding officer that he had been chasing a reckless driver. He later would receive a workers’ compensation check for $102,000.

On Dec. 3 and 4 in 2018, Rinetti underwent two MRI procedures, for which he swallowed Xanax to ease his anxiety.

Two days later, DiLorenzo was notified by Las Vegas Municipal Court that she needed to take a drug test in connection with a pending DUI case. But DiLorenzo had been undergoing methadone treatment to kick her heroin addiction, so she knew she couldn’t pass the test. And Rinetti still had Xanax in his system.

Within hours of the court’s phone call, Rinetti, DiLorenzo and Ramirez, a union official who lobbied at the Legislature for police benefits, met for coffee at Lou’s Diner near Alta Drive and Decatur Boulevard. Afterward, DiLorenzo testified, Ramirez handed over a water bottle full of urine.

She rushed to court but failed the test because the urine had traces of alcohol, and she was immediately taken into custody.

DiLorenzo then called Rinetti from jail and told him that her car was still parked outside the Regional Justice Center. Rinetti told DiLorenzo that he and “Texas” — a nickname for Ramirez, who lived near Texas Station — had towed her vehicle to “a safe spot.”

After she was released from jail, DiLorenzo testified, she picked her car up at Ramirez’s house.

Before the year’s end, Rinetti sent DiLorenzo a Christmas card.

“G, don’t know how it happened, don’t really care,” he wrote. “All I know that it’s been amazing getting to know and fall in love with you. You’re such a special woman. You should be celebrated all year long. Merry Christmas baby. (Heart symbol) L.R.”

In the new year, Rinetti was at a drug bust on Las Vegas Boulevard North, where witnesses said he stole 1.2 ounces of methamphetamine, which he provided to DiLorenzo to sell.

“So you told Larry $175, but you got $200. Why did you hold back on the $25?” prosecutor Christopher Hamner asked.

“Because I wanted to get heroin,” she replied.

Detectives later found a picture of the methamphetamine on Rinetti’s phone.

Later, on another bust, Rinetti stole heroin, according to the court records, and gave it to his mistress to sell.

“I knew I had 30 bucks in my pocket that he didn’t know about, so I told him I sold it when I went inside of the house, but I kept it, and I did it,” she testified.

‘Doing good work’

Last summer, while DiLorenzo’s towed Chrysler PT Cruiser sat in an impound lot with stolen gems and minerals, Rinetti used his badge to enter the lot and collect the jewels and DiLorenzo’s paperwork, according to the transcripts.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Alex Chen testified that Rinetti then reached out to him about DiLorenzo’s cases, which included felonies such as possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanors such as confining an animal in a motor vehicle and depriving an animal of sustenance, asking the prosecutor to have her warrants quashed.

Rinetti told another prosecutor, Jake Villani, that DiLorenzo “had been doing good work for him,” according to Villani.

Meanwhile, DiLorenzo asked Rinetti to find her mother’s Social Security number through a police database so she could use her mother’s debit card.

Sometime in September, DiLorenzo’s mother tried to use the debit card at a Home Depot store, and it was declined.

By October, Rinetti’s wife started to accuse him of hiding his whereabouts from her.

“OMG, you’re crazy” he messaged her.

Detectives, too, were on his heels. Rinetti was interviewed by the department’s public integrity squad about his relationship with DiLorenzo. He initially said it was professional but eventually admitted to romantic encounters.

Investigators found more than 50 “nude or very provocative pictures” of DiLorenzo on Rinetti’s phone.

He was charged with selling or transporting a controlled substance, destroying or concealing evidence and misconduct of a public officer. After DiLorenzo and the others testified, prosecutors would add three dozen counts against Rinetti, including trafficking in a controlled substance, conspiracy, offering a false instrument for filing or record and fraudulent use of a credit card.

In February, DiLorenzo testified to a Clark County grand jury about Rinetti, and that’s when authorities first learned of Ramirez’s ties to her. Detectives tracked his phone records, which lined up with DiLorenzo’s story.

And during the investigation, they found another connection: suggestive photos of DiLorenzo on Ramirez’s union-issued phone.

“From my knowledge, they were deleted from the phone and the only thing that we could find were thumbnails of those images, but there was no data associated with those images as to when they went onto his phone or how he would have received them,” Detective Derek Jappe testified. “It’s just a thumbnail copy of the photos.”

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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