The police officer referred to the woman as Victim-1, recording details like her date of birth, height, weight and bra size. He made note of certain materials, like chloroform and rope.
And then the officer, Gilberto Valle, a six-year veteran of the New York Police Department, saved the document on his computer, titling the file “Abducting and Cooking (Victim-1): A Blueprint.”
In one of the most disturbing and unusual arrests involving a police officer, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation took Officer Valle into custody on Wednesday after they uncovered several plots to kidnap, rape, cook and eat women.
“I was thinking of tying her body onto some kind of apparatus,” he wrote to a co-conspirator in one electronic communication intercepted by law enforcement authorities. “Cook her over a low heat, keep her alive as long as possible.”
When the co-conspirator asked how big the officer’s oven was, Officer Valle replied, “Big enough to fit one of these girls if I folded their legs.”
Two law enforcement officials familiar with the inquiry said the officer’s estranged wife recently contacted the F.B.I. to report that Officer Valle, 28, viewed and kept disturbing items on his computer. The couple has a daughter, age 1.
The criminal complaint suggests that Officer Valle, who worked in the 26th Precinct in Manhattan and lives in Forest Hills, Queens, never followed through on any of the acts he is accused of discussing.
His lawyer, Julia L. Gatto, said the officer committed no crime. “At worst, this is someone who has sexual fantasies,” Ms. Gatto said at a hearing on Thursday in Federal District Court in Manhattan.
“There is no actual crossing the line from fantasy to reality,” she added.
But a federal prosecutor, Hadassa Waxman, said Mr. Valle had communicated with three co-conspirators about his plans to commit a crime, and at one point used a police car while dressed in uniform to conduct surveillance of a woman, approaching her in “an intimidating fashion.”
Magistrate Judge Henry B. Pitman ordered Officer Valle to be held without bail on charges of federal kidnapping conspiracy.
The evidence consists largely of e-mails and instant messages in which Officer Valle was “discussing plans to kidnap, rape, torture, kill, cook and eat body parts of a number of women,” according to the complaint, which describes two episodes in which Officer Valle discussed abducting women. In each case, it appears that the women knew the officer vaguely. And in at least one case, the officer used the National Crime Information Center to get information about a third woman.
In a search of the officer’s computer, federal investigators discovered “files pertaining to at least 100 women,” according to the complaint. Some of them were his classmates from high school, a law enforcement official said.
“The F.B.I. has identified and interviewed 10 of these women, each of whom has confirmed to the F.B.I. that Valle is known to her,” the complaint said.
A law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said investigators feared that Officer Valle might soon carry out one of his plots.
In February, Officer Valle offered to kidnap a woman on an unnamed person’s behalf for a price: “$5,000 and she is all yours,” the officer wrote to that person, according to the complaint.
Officer Valle appeared to be under the impression that the person he was communicating with intended to rape the woman, according to the complaint.
“She will be alive,” he wrote. “I think I would rather not get involved in the rape. You paid for her. She is all yours, and I don’t want to be tempted the next time I abduct a girl.”
While the complaint does not identify the woman in question, F.B.I. agents later learned that cellphone tracking devices indicated that Officer Valle had made or received calls on the block in Manhattan where the woman lived.
On July 19, Officer Valle sent an instant message to the co-conspirator, indicating that he was meeting with Victim-1 three days later, according to the complaint. The victim, who was interviewed in October by the F.B.I., said she had met the officer that day “at a restaurant for lunch,” according to the complaint. What happened during or after the lunch was not disclosed.
A dating profile, which a law enforcement official confirmed belonged to Officer Valle, suggested an engaging and gregarious young man. He wrote that he had attended Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens and the University of Maryland, College Park. (At the court hearing on Thursday, the officer wore a red T-shirt affiliated with the university.)
“I can find the humor in any situation,” he had written, adding that he had “an endless supply of hilarious short stories from work that can’t be made up.”
Colin Moynihan, Sarah Maslin Nir and Wendy Ruderman contributed reporting
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