An officer formerly assigned to Ozone Park’s 106th Precinct wound up in handcuffs on Friday after an undercover operation revealed that she attempted to have her estranged, second husband murdered.
The FBI took Long Island resident Valerie Cincinelli, 34, into custody on May 17 on charges that she allegedly tried to get her current boyfriend to hire a hitman who would kill both her husband and her boyfriend’s young daughter.
The boyfriend wound up reporting her to federal agents who subsequently launched an elaborate sting that sounded like a plot line from a “Law & Order” episode. Law enforcement agents went as far as to send Cincinelli’s boyfriend a text message from a purported hitman — that he showed her shortly before her arrest — with an attached photo of her estranged husband, appearing dead.
NBC New York reported that she was previously assigned to the 106th Precinct until 2017, when she was placed on modified duty over a domestic incident.
Records from the U.S. Justice Department indicated that the twice-married Cincinelli “has been romantically involved with several individuals, and that her first and second husbands had sought orders of protection against her. Federal prosecutors alleged that she also had a “volatile history” with her boyfriend, whom she had asked to help orchestrate the double murder.
The New York Daily News reported that the NYPD suspended her without pay immediately following her arrest. According to federal agents, she was “brought up on charges of sharing confidential information with [her boyfriend] and violating other Police Department rules and regulations in connection with sharing information with [him].”
The NYPD declined to comment on the case, referring all questions to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
In February of this year, according to the criminal complaint, Cincinelli allegedly asked her boyfriend to hire a hitman to kill her estranged, second husband and the boyfriend’s young daughter. The boyfriend told her that he knew someone who would do the deed for $7,000.
On Feb. 18, prosecutors said, Cincinelli withdrew $7,000 in cash from her bank account at a TD Bank in Wantagh, then provided it to her boyfriend to give the hitman as payment. He then told her that he would convert the cash to gold coins, which he purchased later that day from a dealership in Massapequa Park.
Cincinelli and her boyfriend repeatedly discussed the murder plot numerous times between February and May 17, with some of the conversations having been consensually recorded at the request of law enforcement.
Authorities said the sting that nabbed Cincinelli came to a head at 10:10 a.m. Friday morning, when a detective with the Suffolk County Police Department — acting at the FBI’s direction — visited her at her home and informed her that her estranged husband had been murdered. Her boyfriend was present at the time and wearing a recording device to capture the events.
Almost immediately after the detective departed, federal prosecutors noted, Cincinelli allegedly began discussing her alibi with her boyfriend in the event she were to be formally questioned about her estranged husband’s presumed death.
Nearly 40 minutes later, an FBI agent — posing as the hitman — then sent a text message to Cincinelli’s boyfriend which included a photo of her estranged husband appearing dead, along with a demand for another $3,000 in cash to kill the boyfriend’s daughter. Cincinelli allegedly told her boyfriend to delete the text and photos in case detectives subpoenaed his phone.
Cincinelli was taken into custody a short time later and arraigned on Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Central Islip. She was ordered held in custody without bail. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years behind bars.
While on the job in the 106th Precinct back in 2017, Officer Cincinelli helped collar an alleged bank robber in Howard Beach who attempted to use a fake bomb to steal cash. A dye pack that a bank employee provided him with the stolen loot blew up in his face, and helped lead cops to him.
This story was updated on May 17 at 5:40 p.m.