Two Chicago police officers charged in narcotics case
October 25, 2006 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Two Chicago police officers were arrested Wednesday after an undercover sting. They are charged with conspiracy after prosecutors say they tried to steal more than $30,000. The officers were arrested at their homes.
Prosecutors say the officers and a reputed drug dealer conspired to steal money they thought belonged to another drug dealer. But the cash was actually part of a sting set up by the FBI and the Chicago Police Internal Affairs Division.
The cops were still being held Wednesday evening. They have a bond hearing set for next Tuesday. They are charged with stealing just over $31,000 that had been planted in storage lockers by FBI agents.
In one of the alleged rip-offs, the FBI claims to have used hidden cameras to videotape the officers stealing $11,100 the cops believed a drug dealer was keeping in a West Side storage facility.
The 22nd District Tactical Unit members, 30-year-old Robert Doroniuk and 27-year-old Mahmoud Shamah, already suspended without pay, were arrested Wednesday morning and appeared in federal court in the afternoon.
Their boss, Superintendent Philip Cline, expressed his deep disappointment that cops so new to the force had allegedly already gone bad.
"We try to screen people before they come on. Then we do training. And then we have protocols in place to try and prevent this from happening. But I can tell you the temptations there are great," Cline said.
Federal agents and local internal affairs detectives investigated Doroniuk and Shamah after hearing the officers were doing business with paroled convict and small-time drug dealer Larry Cross.
An FBI informant told Cross about the West Side storage lockers where money could be found and Cross told the officers. Then they allegedly took Cross's information to judges to get search warrants, which they executed not knowing the cash had been planted by the FBI.
The officers worked in the 22nd District on the Far South Side, but the rip-offs happened on the West Side, some distance from where they worked.
"With 13,600 cops, I'm sorry, I apologize to the citizens of Chicago, but this is going to happen again, and we're gonna do everything we can to prevent this," said Cline.
Cline confirmed that other officers who assisted on the search warrant are also under investigation in this case. However, there is no evidence that those other officers took any of that FBI money.
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