Some of our past blog posts have revealed instances of participants in the criminal justice system abusing their positions. That is far from a singular occurrence across the country, with media accounts regularly relating instances in which the conduct of police officers, private investigators, prosecutors and even judges (please see our immediately preceding blog post entry) has altered a level playing field that assures fundamental fairness and justice for defendants facing crime charges.
A rather stark example of that emerged recently in the Chicago area, with three suburban police officers there being arrested for their involvement in selling marijuana and cocaine.
An indictment against the officers charged each of them with 17 criminal counts, including multiple counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, burglary, official misconduct and criminal drug conspiracy.
The accusation against the officers states that their illegal conduct spanned at least six months and included shaking down area drug dealers and peddling drugs through an informant that they had previously arrested. Surveillance that began in early January yielded tapes of the officers discussing their scheme and videotape of them delivering drugs and money to their informant while in uniform and driving police vehicles. Video footage additionally filmed the three police officers breaking into a storage area to steal money and drugs.
Twenty search warrants were executed last month that covered the officers’ vehicles, work lockers and homes.
Following their arraignment last week, two of the officers were able to leave the county jail where they were being detained after posting bond.
Source: Chicago Daily Herald, “Grand jury indicts former Schaumburg cops,” Justin Kmitch, Feb. 1, 2013