FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

The Law Officer's Pocket Manual - Bloomberg BNA
This handy 4" x 6" spiral-bound manual offers examples showing how rules are...

Top News

Feds Charge Veterans Affairs Police Chief In Kidnapping Conspiracy

April 15, 2013  | 

The FBI has arrested the police chief for a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Massachusetts and a former librarian for allegedly plotting to kidnap, torture, rape, and kill women and children.

Richard Meltz, chief for the Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Bedford, was arrested Sunday. Agents took Robert Asch into custody today.

"The bone-chilling conduct alleged in this complaint is a chronicle of sadism and depravity that includes the defendants' very real steps to carry out their plans to kidnap, torture, rape, and kill the women and children they targeted," said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. "Meltz provided 'strategic advice' and Asch conducted surveillance and provided supplies including leather ties, a sleeping agent, instruments of torture, and a TASER gun."

Meltz and Asch discussed the plan in detail in e-mail with co-conspirator Michael Vanhise between 2011 and October. Vanhise had sent e-mail and instant messages soliciting Meltz and Asch to kidnap, rape, and kill his wife, his sister-in-law, her children, and his step-daughter. Meltz eventually responded by writing, "we go over there she know you let's [sic.] us in we choke her out tie her up throw her in the back of your car take her someplace and [rape and torture her]."

Asch met with an undercover FBI agent several times in Manhattan and provided a bag of materials to be used during the kidnapping and torture of another undercover agent. The materials included a ski mask, hypodermic needles, leather ties, chrome forceps, a three-page gun show itinerary, documents relating to a "leg-spreader" and "dental retractor" that Asch claimed to have purchased, and the liquid form of doxepin hydrochloride, commonly used as a sleep agent.

Asch introduced the first agent to Meltz, who participated in multiple conversations about the conspiracy's objective to kidnap and commit acts of violence against women. Meltz provided advice about the use of a stun gun in the kidnapping.

Meltz allegedly gave advice about how to murder a woman, such as avoiding toll roads, using rental cars, paying for tools with cash, looking for victims in desolate areas, abducting victims at night, and using disguises when first approaching a potential victim.

On Sunday, Meltz met with the first undercover agent in New Jersey. Meltz and discussed the kidnapping and murder of another undercover agent. Meltz said if the body were left in the woods, wild animals would likely find and destroy it before law enforcement could find it.

Asch, 60, of Manhattan, and Meltz, 65, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Comments (7)

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Rick @ 4/16/2013 2:39 PM

Yet ANOTHER reason why citizens should be armed and allowed to protect themselves from criminals. National Reciprocity for CCW is way overdue.

Cam @ 4/16/2013 5:34 PM

I had a hard time following this article. It does not say who Asch was, his name just appeared in the article. The rest was incomplete sentences, and typos. I am not trying to be critical, but it was just a difficult read and thought you might want to know. The disgusting things that the two men were planning was not always clear, although I would have to be an idiot not to get the idea here. Thank Goodness someone caught this before it happened. The more articles we read about unstable LEO's of any agency is becoming a normal thing to read, how are they getting through the hiring system, and evaluations. I know budgets want us to do more with less, but some things should just be plain mandatory.

Bob @ VA @ 4/17/2013 11:25 AM

From the DOJ website on Meltz and Asch:

"Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and George Venizelos, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), today announced the arrests of RICHARD MELTZ, Chief of Police for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, for the Bedford, Massachusetts Veteran Affairs Medical Center, and ROBERT CHRISTOPHER ASCH, a former high school librarian, for conspiracy to kidnap, torture, rape, and kill women and children. MELTZ was arrested yesterday afternoon and ASCH was arrested this morning by special agents of the FBI. MELTZ and ASCH will be presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV in Manhattan federal court."

Police Mag could have done a better cut and paste job on this article. Still, scary stuff.

Cann @ 4/18/2013 2:01 AM

FOR BOB: Thank you for the info. I am so glad my Dad, a
WW II vet, is not here to see this horrible story. He was a hero, medals and all, and this would have hurt him. Seems there are more sick headlines everyday.

Roger @ 4/20/2013 4:00 AM

I heard the U.S. Veterans Affairs Federal Police department a very hard hiring process, am wondering how he got through the cracks, but maybe he is hired before all the strict hiring laws were set in at that time.

urfree2speak @ 7/9/2013 7:26 AM

perhaps this is not the only V.A. Chief that needs investigating

Connie Gathright @ 7/16/2013 3:17 PM

I just discovered I was under surveillance and it should have been my stalker and the person that stole at least $60,000 from me that I had to call all the way to the FBI just to get Claiborne Parish or Homer police dept in La to make him move out of my home BC they r protecting him to this day and that was on March 1,13 he moved out. But I have only been given one police report even though I've called at least 50 times. And had to go get physiological evaluated BC they tried to pull the I'm crazy act. But I don't know where to go from here except civil rights lawyers BC he has many arrest I've found out with Googles apps and everyone except Google seems to b on his side. He is a monster not just a robber and drug dealer which I knew nothing about. He had me conned very good but with the ability to read something or see something one time and never for get it (he is very good at it & I can't think of what it's called right now) but I've had 2 very good Dr's tell me he is a sociopath. I
If u have any suggestions for me I will love to hear from u. I've been denied police reports 7 months so I couldn't file a theft claim on my homeowners Ins.

Join the Discussion

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.
Police Magazine