A police officer with the NYPD has been arrested on federal charges in connection with a plot in which he allegedly conspired with others to kidnap, torture and cannibalize multiple women.
Officer Gilberto Valle, 28, of Forest Hills, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and one count of intentionally accessing computer files of the National Crime Information Center to gather information on at least one potential victim.
Valle is married with a daughter, though his wife has left the state. He graduated from Archbishop Malloy High School in Briarwood in 2002.
An NYPD spokeswoman said last week that Valle worked in the 26th Precinct in northern Manhattan and has been suspended without pay. All other questions were referred to the FBI.
Valle was arrested at his home on Oct. 24 by federal agents and detectives from the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.
“Gilberto Valle’s alleged plans to kidnap, women so they could be raped, tortured, killed, cooked and cannibalized shock the conscience,” said Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, in a joint statement with the FBI released by his office last Thursday.
“The case is more disturbing when you consider Valle’s position as a New York City police officer and his sworn duty to serve and protect,” Bharara said.
FBI Acting Assistant Director in Charge Mary Galligan said the allegations in the complaint needed no description.
“They speak for themselves,” she said. “It would be an understatement merely to say Valle’s own words and actions were shocking.”
The investigation is continuing. The Chronicle was unable to contact Julia Gatto, Valle’s defense attorney, for comment, though in published reports she has claimed that Valle was engaging in fantasy fetish chats.
According to the allegations in the complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, the FBI learned that Valle was sending emails and instant messages discussing plans with multiple coconspirators to kidnap, rape, torture, kill, cook and cannibalize a number of women in September.
A court-authorized search of the computer allegedly revealed that Valle had created files pertaining to at least 100 women and containing at least one photograph of each.
The computer also contained personal information about some of the women, including addresses and physical descriptions, as well as electronic communications in which Valle and co-conspirators, who were not named, detailed their plans.
The charges say Valle used the NCIC database and other methods to locate potential victims; surveilled potential victims at their homes and places of busines; drafted an “operation plan” to abduct and “cook” an identified woman; researched methods of disabling and drugging women; and agreed with at least one other individual to kidnap a woman in exchange for a sum of money.
Federal authorities said that in July Valle had a series of online communications with a coconspirator in which they discussed how best to kidnap and kill the first victim, including where to find a recipe for chloroform.
During that time period, Valle allegedly also created a document entitled “Abducting and Cooking [Victim-1]: a Blueprint.”
The document contains what authorities called “pedigree information” about the first intended victim, including her name, date of birth, height, weight, and bra size.
The document also contains a section called “Materials Needed,” in which Valle allegedly wrote, in part, the following:
• Car (I have it)
• Chloroform (refer to website for directions)
• Rope (Strongest kind to tie her up)
In subsequent instant message conversations, the government says, the coconspirator asked Valle, “How was your meal?” to which Valle responded, “I am meeting her on Sunday.” On the following Sunday, Valle told the woman he wanted to meet her. They met later that day at a restaurant for lunch.
Valle also allegedly had conversations with another coconspirator in February 2012, in which they negotiated and agreed to a price for which Valle would kidnap another woman.
In those conversations, the charges say, Valle insisted upon a price no less than $5,000 and assured the coconspirator that Victim 2 would be bound, gagged and alive when he delivered her.
The FBI reviewed cell site data obtained through a court order and learned that, in March 2012, a cell phone with a number belonging to Valle made and received cellular communications on the block in Manhattan on which Victim 2’s apartment is located.
When the FBI later interviewed Victim 2, she stated that she has never invited Valle to her home and does not know him well.
On May 31, 2012, Valle allegedly accessed the NCIC database and obtained information about a third intended victim whose name matched that of one of the individual files he created, and stored the information on the computer.
Valle did not have legal authorization to perform that search or to access any information about Victim 3.