Man accused of offering money to cop linked to cannibalism conspiracy
NEW YORK (CNN) — Police arrested a 23-year-old New Jersey man on Friday for allegedly conspiring with a New York City police officer previously accused of plotting to have women kidnapped, raped, killed, cooked and cannibalized.
Michael Vanhise was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, according to Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
He is accused of agreeing to pay officer Gilberto Valle $5,000 to render a New York woman unconscious, stuff her into a suitcase and bring her to Vanhise’s home in New Jersey, where she would be raped, Bharara said.
If convicted, Vanhise could face up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Bharara said Vanhise “engaged in conduct that reads like a script for a bad horror film, but fortunately, neither he nor his co-conspirators were able to act out the twisted conspiracies.”
Calls made to attorneys for Vanhise and Valle were not immediately returned Friday.
In e-mail conversations dating back to February 2012, Valle allegedly assured Vanhise that the victim would be delivered alive, according to the criminal complaint.
“Just make sure she doesn’t die before I get her,” Vanhise allegedly said.
The two are then believed to have negotiated a price for the victim.
“I really need the money and I can’t take under $5,000,” Valle said, according to the complaint.
Valle, 28, a six-year NYPD veteran, was arrested in October at his home in Queens.
Valle is accused of illegally accessing a national crime database to locate potential targets, scouting some of them at their homes and workplaces and exchanging e-mails and instant messages with alleged co-conspirators about plans to target women.
The 100 women in Valle’s alleged database live in the United States and overseas, according to a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation. At least three of them know Valle, another law enforcement source said.
He apparently discussed the plans with other men on a website for people who fantasize about cannibalism, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation said in October. Authorities have no evidence that he planned to carry out any of the acts, the source said.
At a proceeding in October, Valley’s lawyer Julia Gatto said the alleged plans discovered by authorities on Valle’s computer amounted to “just talk.”
“At worse, this is sexual fantasies with people he knows,” Gatto said.
The complaint detailed Friday said that Vanhise e-mailed two other unnamed and alleged co-conspirators about kidnapping, raping and murdering women and children.