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Records: Charged in murder-for-hire plot, NYPD officer is indicted

Officer Valerie Cincinelli, of Oceanside, has been indicted

Officer Valerie Cincinelli, of Oceanside, has been indicted in a murder-for-hire plot, according to court records.  Photo Credit: Robert Stridiron

A veteran New York City police officer from Oceanside has been indicted on charges that she plotted to kill both her estranged husband and the young daughter of a boyfriend, according to court records.

Valerie Cincinelli, 34, arrested last Friday, was charged with two counts of murder for hire and one of obstruction of justice, according to the indictment filed in federal court in Central Islip.

The obstruction count involves Cincinelli’s alleged attempt to destroy two cellphones and the records they contain to impede the investigation, the indictment says.

It identifies the targets of the murder plots as John Doe and Jane Doe. But court papers filed by federal prosecutors Catherine Mirabile and Lara Treinis Gatz have indicated the intended victims were the estranged husband and the minor daughter of the boyfriend. Federal indictments do not usually name victims of an alleged crime.

Cincinelli was arrested by FBI agents on a complaint that is usually sworn to by an agent and does not specify individual counts against a suspect.  The complaint also does not require a plea, but the indictment will require a plea when she appears for arraignment scheduled Friday in federal court in Central Islip.

Cincinelli has been held without bail since her arrest.

A spokesman for Eastern District prosecutors, John Marzulli, declined to comment.

Cincinelli’s attorney, James Kousouros, of Manhattan, said: “We are very early in the proceedings and we are conducting a thorough investigation [which will] demonstrate Ms. Cincinelli is innocent of all the charges.”

If convicted of murder for hire, Cincinelli could face up to 10 years on each count; obstruction of justice carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

A key person who led to Cincinelli’s arrest was identified in court papers only as CS, for confidential source. The source was “romantically involved” with Cincinelli, although one of the two would-be victims of the murder scheme was his minor daughter, prosecutors said in the court papers.

The papers said Cincinelli was tricked into talking about the murder plot with the confidential source after she was shown a picture staged by the FBI, showing her estranged husband, who had supposedly been killed.

The source initially told Cincinelli he would find a hit man to carry out the murders for $7,000, and that the source would pay him in gold coins, the court papers said. Cincinelli withdrew $7,000 from a bank to pay “the hit man,” the papers said.     

But eventually the confidential source told the FBI about the plot and cooperated in government recordings in which Cincinelli talked about the plot, the court papers said.

Cincinelli allegedly said in one of the recordings that the hit man should kill her estranged husband near his job in Holtsville, stating “it would not look suspicious because the murder would take place in ‘the hood’ or ‘the ghetto,’"  court papers said.

When the source told Cincinelli that the hit man “did not want to carry out the murder near a school, [Cincinelli] responded, ‘[r]un her the [expletive deleted] over, how about that?’ ” the court papers said.

Cincinelli used the social media account of the confidential source's daughter to locate her for the killing, the prosecutors said in the papers.

Cincinelli joined the NYPD in 2007 and since 2017 has been on modified assignment without a gun because of domestic incidents, an NYPD spokesman said after her arrest. 

She was in “a volatile relationship” with both her estranged husband and the confidential source, the papers said.

After being placed on modified status, Cincinelli had been working with the Viper unit, which monitors surveillance cameras at city public housing areas. Previously she had worked  in the 106th Precinct in Queens, the spokesman said.

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