I-Team 10 Investigation: Inmate plot

Updated: 11/01/2013 8:18 PM
Created: 11/01/2013 5:52 PM WHEC.com
By: Brett Davidsen

I-Team 10 is tracking down new information about a man accused of sex trafficking a minor. Federal investigators say while in jail, the suspect tried to hire a hitman to kill his teenage victim and threatened the life of a FBI agent.

Robert Palmero, who is 29-years-old, now faces new charges. Palermo was being held in the Monroe County Jail. While there, he made 22 phone calls to his mother, calls that were recorded. Excerpts from those conversations are contained in this FBI agent's affidavit. They paint a picture of an inmate bent on revenge and on doing whatever was necessary to beat the charges he was facing.

Palermo was arrested in April for trafficking a 14-year-old girl, allegedly place an ad on backpage.com for her to engage in prostitution. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison.  But while in custody awaiting trial, investigators say Palermo hatched a plan.

According to the affidavit, in recorded conversations with his mother, Palermo discussed killing the victim and threatened physical harm to the FBL special agent that arrested him. Investigators say a cooperating inmate also claimed to hear Palermo say he was going to make the girl quote, "disappear forever and he was going to make sure she never showed up for trial." Agents then enlisted the help of another inmate to approach Palermo about hiring a hitman, which turned out to be an undercover Rochester Police officer.

The new witness tampering charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and the threat to the federal law enforcement officer could tack on six more.


I-Team 10 will continue to track this case and bring you any new information. 


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