Evidence

What will arrest of 3 suburban Chicago cops on drug charges mean for other defendants?


After news that three police officers from a Chicago suburb are facing criminal charges concerning an alleged conspiracy to supply confiscated drugs to an informant for sale on the street, defense lawyers are huddling to determine which cases involving ordinary defendants could be tainted.

The Cook County public defender’s office is making a list of prosecutions in which the three Schaumburg officers were involved and will look into them further, Assistant Public Defender Scott Slonim told the Chicago Tribune. He works as a supervisor in the Rolling Meadows branch courthouse, where most criminal cases from Schaumburg are sent.

John Cichy, Matthew Hudak and Terrance O’Brien were arrested Wednesday and put on leave when the Village of Schaumburg learned of the charges against them. The officers are now being held in lieu of $750,000 bail each, pending a hearing to determine that any money posted as bail was legally obtained.

They are accused of stealing cash and drugs seized during legitimate busts, then supplying to an informant some of the cocaine and marijuana they confiscated while search warrants were being executed, so that the informant could sell the drugs on the officers’ behalf. Charges against the three officers include drug conspiracy, armed violence, theft and official misconduct, the newspaper reports. The case is being overseen by the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office.

Search warrants were executed Wednesday on the defendant officers’ homes and cars and at the police station, and a prosecutor said during a Thursday court hearing that authorities have audio and video surveillance evidence against the officers.

A lawyer for Hudak told the newspaper his client had been falsely accused by an unreliable snitch.

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