A former New York City Police officer from Oceanside pleaded guilty last Friday to obstructing an investigation into her alleged plot to hire a hit man to kill her estranged husband and her boyfriend’s daughter.
Valerie Cincinelli, 36, pleaded guilty to a single count of obstruction of justice for interfering in a grand jury investigation in a virtual hearing Friday. She now faces 46 to 57 months in prison, but as part of the plea deal, the prosecutors agreed to drop two murder-for-hire charges, each of which carried up to 10 years in prison.
Cincinelli is likely to receive a five-year sentence for the obstruction charge, but may only serve three years after spending nearly two years in police custody at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center after her May 2019 arrest.
The obstruction charge stems from Cincinelli’s deletion of iPhone messages in an attempt to obstruct a federal probe into her alleged plot to hire a hit man to kill her estranged husband, Isaiah Carvalho Jr., and the teenaged daughter of her boyfriend, John DiRubba. She admitted to deleting the messages on Friday while expressing sorrow over her actions.
James Kousouros, an attorney representing Cincinelli, said he was happy with the results.
“We are pleased that we were able to arrive at a disposition which resulted in the dismissal of the murder-for-hire charges at the time of sentence,” he said. Monday. “It’s been a long and emotional and stressful journey for Ms. Cincinelli, she’s accepted responsibility for the obstruction and is hopeful that she’ll be soon able to move on with her life and family.” Kousouros added that Cincinelli was a decorated police officer for 12 years and that many details of this story have not come to light.
When she was arrested in May 2019, Cincinelli pleaded not guilty to two charges of murder-for-hire and the obstruction of justice charge. After her arrest, U.S. District Judge Sandra Feuerstein denied Cincinelli’s request for bond, saying she was a danger to the subjects of the alleged plot and the community, while noting she showed a “lack of impulse control and remorse.”
Feuerstein was killed in a hit-and-run in Florida on April 9. Judge Joanna Seybert took the plea deal in Central Islip on Friday, and said she would consider a request from Cincinelli’s defense to offer bail.
Federal prosecutors have said Cincinelli had a “volatile” relationship with Carvalho and DiRubba, and that DiRubba had allegedly originally agreed to hire a hit man to murder Carvalho before changing his mind, notifying authorities and cooperating in their investigation.
Prosecutors said Cincinelli was angry about having to share her NYPD pension with Carvalho in their pending divorce, and jealous of DiRubba’s daughter because of the time she spent with her father and the expensive gifts that he bought for her.
Cincinelli’s alleged plan was hatched in February 2019, a month after Carvalho filed for divorce after four years of marriage, which sparked a custody battle between the two over their two children.
According to authorities, DiRubba told Cincinelli that he would put a plan in motion to carry out the hits for $7,000, but instead went to the FBI. Kousouros said in the pasts that Cincinelli gave DiRubba $7,000 to purchase gold coins, not to hire a hit man.
Under the direction of investigators, DiRubba continued to plot with Cincinelli, and wore a wire so their conversations could be recorded. In one taped recording that he made as part of his cooperation, Cincinelli allegedly said the hit man should kill her estranged husband near his Holtsville place of work, saying, “It wouldn’t look suspicious because the murder would take place in ‘the hood,’ or ‘the ghetto.’” In another, DiRubba told Cincinelli that in the case of killing the teen, the hit man did not want to carry out the murder near a school, and Cincinelli responded, “Run her the f--k over, how about that?’”
On May 17, 2019, the FBI staged Carvalho’s death and then Suffolk County police came to Cincinelli’s Oceanside home to inform her of her estranged husband’s death, and the FBI staged photos of a faux crime scene as part of the ruse. Immediately after police left, Cincinelli allegedly called DiRubba to discuss their alibis and told him to delete his text messages. The FBI recorded the call. Later that afternoon, she was arrested.
Upon her arrest, Cincinelli was immediately suspended without pay from the NYPD after 12 years on the force, and she resigned last month. She had worked in the 106th Precinct in Queens, but had been on modified assignment without a gun since 2017 after a series of domestic incidents.
Cincinelli will be sentenced on Oct. 29, because of Covid-19 causing delays, and will stay at the detention center in Brooklyn until then.