Former New York City Police Officer Found Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court of Kidnapping Conspiracy and Illegally Accessing Federal Law Enforcement Database
Conduct Included Plans to Rape, Torture, Cannibalize, and Kill Victims
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 12, 2013|
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that former New York City Police Officer Gilberto Valle was found guilty today in Manhattan federal court of conspiracy to kidnap and illegally accessing the federal National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. The jury found that Valle, who was an active-duty officer with the New York City Police Department (NYPD) at the time of his arrest, conspired with more than one individual to kidnap, rape, torture, kill, and cannibalize a number of women and that he illegally used the NCIC database to obtain information about one of his intended victims. He was convicted after a three-week trial before U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “Today, a unanimous jury found that Gilberto Valle’s detailed and specific plans to abduct women for the purpose of committing grotesque crimes were very real and that he was guilty as charged. The Internet is a forum for the free exchange of ideas, but it does not confer immunity for plotting crimes and taking steps to carry out those crimes. I want to thank the jury for their time, their diligence, and their willingness to serve on a case of this nature, and I want to thank the FBI and the dedicated prosecutors from my office who did such an outstanding job investigating and prosecuting this disturbing case.”
According to the complaint and the indictment filed in Manhattan federal court and the evidence presented at trial:
In September 2012, the FBI learned that Valle was sending e-mail and instant messages discussing plans with multiple co-conspirators to kidnap, rape, torture, kill, and cannibalize a number of women. A court-authorized search of his computer revealed that Valle had created files pertaining to at least 80 women and containing multiple photographs of each woman. The computer also contained personal information about some of these women—including relevant addresses, physical descriptions, and photographs—and electronic communications in which Valle and co-conspirators detailed their plans. Additionally, Valle used the NCIC database and other methods to locate potential victims, surveilled a victim, 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 $5,000.
In July 2012, Valle had a series of online communications with a co-conspirator (“CC-1”) in which they discussed how best to kidnap, murder, and cannibalize Victim-1, including where to find a recipe for chloroform. During this time period, Valle also created a document entitled “Abducting and Cooking [Victim-1]: a Blueprint.” The document contains pedigree information about Victim-1—including her name, ethnicity, height, weight, and bra size. The document also contains a section called “Materials Needed” in which Valle 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, CC-1 asked Valle, “How was your meal?” to which Valle immediately responded, “I am meeting her [i.e., Victim-1] on Sunday.” On the following Sunday, Valle met with Victim-1 at a restaurant for brunch. Following this meeting, Valle communicated with CC-1 regarding the brunch with Victim-1 and said that “[Victim-1] looked absolutely mouthwatering.”
Valle also had conversations with another co-conspirator (“CC-2”) in late February 2012, in which they negotiated and agreed to a price for which Valle would kidnap another woman (“Victim-2”). In those conversations, VALLE insisted upon a price no less than $5,000 and assured CC-2 that Victim-2 would be bound, gagged, and alive when he delivered her. In a post-arrest statement to the FBI, Valle admitted that, in early March 2012, he was present on the block in Manhattan where Victim-2’s apartment building 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.
The NCIC Database
On May 31, 2012, Valle accessed the NCIC database and obtained information about a woman (“Victim-3”) whose name matched the name of one of the individual files he created. Valle did not have authorization to perform that search or to access any information about Victim-3.
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Valle, 28, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. He was also convicted of one count of intentionally and knowingly accessing a computer without authorization and exceeding his authorized access, thereby obtaining information from a department and agency of the United States. This count carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000. Valle is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Gardephe on June 19, 2013, at 11:00 a.m.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York City Police Department.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Hadassa Waxman and Randall W. Jackson are in charge of the prosecution.