Cops Caught on Tape Robbing Drug Dealers (1 Viewer)


Short Bussed
January 17, 2013

Three Schaumburg police officers conspired to steal drugs they
had seized during legitimate busts, then split the profits after their
informant put the drugs back on the streets, with one of the officers
later admitting he did it for “the thrill of it," according to

John Cichy, 30, Matthew Hudak, 29, and Terrance O’Brien, 47,
were captured on video surveillance and audio recordings stealing money
and drugs from the dealers, and all three have made incriminating
statements, prosecutor Audriana Anderson said in court this morning.

you have on tape, I did. You got me on that," Anderson quoted Hudak as
telling authorities. O'Brien told investigators they did "it all for the
thrill of it," she said.

Authorities said they began investigating the officers more than
two weeks ago after a search warrant was executed on a storage locker
in Carol Stream and 275 grams of cocaine were recovered.

The person who had control of the locker told authorities the
officers had been using him since the middle of 2012 to buy and sell
cocaine and marijuana from the cash and drugs they stole while executing
search warrants. Investigators then set up a sting, with the informant
wearing a wire, authorities said. The officers were arrested Wednesday.

"What began as a routine narcotics investigation quickly evolved
into something far more sinister," DuPage State's Attorney Robert
Berlin said after the court hearing.

Defense attorney Thomas Glasgow, who represents Hudak, said his
client was falsely accused by an unreliable "snitch" set up the
officers. "In order to collar the bad guy, you have to look like the
bad guy," Glasgow said.

Judge Elizabeth Sexton set a cash bail of $750,000 for each of
the officers. Sexton granted a prosecution request requiring the
officers to remain in custody until a hearing is held to ensure any
money posted as bail was not obtained through illegal means.

"I believe these guys have nothing to lose," the judge said. "And they are a flight risk."

Defense attorneys had sought to lower the bonds, arguing the officers could not come up with that much money.

A girlfriend of one of the officers was also charged with drug
conspiracy, accused of allowing her Hoffman Estates home to be used as a
"stash house," Anderson said.

Anderson said authorities recovered six pounds of marijuana and
some cocaine from the garage of Nicole Brehm, 44. She was ordered held
on $150,000 bail.

Cichy and Hudak were each charged with manufacturing or
delivering between 100 and 400 grams of cocaine, armed violence,
criminal drug conspiracy, conspiracy to manufacture or deliver between
100 and 400 grams of cocaine, official misconduct, theft between $10,000
and $100,000 in a school or place of worship, and burglary.

O'Brien was charged with manufacturing or delivering between 100
and 400 grams of cocaine, armed violence, drug conspiracy, official
misconduct, theft of stolen property between $10,000 and $100,000 from a
school or place of worship, and burglary.

Authorities said Schaumburg police officials have fully
cooperated in the investigation. About 20 search warrants were executed
Wednesday at the police station, the officers' homes and their cars.

Officials said the investigation is ongoing, but authorities do not believe any other officers were involved in the scheme.

"This is not a good day for the good guys," said Jack Riley,
special agent-in-charge of the DEA's Chicago field division. "No matter
who you are -- federal, state, or local law enforcement -- your badge
took a ding and, for me quite frankly, it makes me sick to my stomach."

"I really do believe we have successfully removed the cancer within that (Schaumburg police) department," he added.

Berlin said dealers were arrested under lesser charges under the
scheme so the charged officers could steal part of the confiscated
drugs for their own profit.

Berlin said there is only one case in DuPage County in which the
officers were involved, and he has spoken with Cook County State's
Attorney Anita Alvarez to determine how many criminal prosecutions may
have been compromised there.

Criminal defense experts said prosecutions could be tainted
because of questions about the officers' credibility and their
unavailability to testify in cases.

To that end, a representative of the Cook County Public
Defender’s Office said the office has already begin assembling an
inventory of cases involving the officers to determine if those cases
were compromised and, if so, to seek the dismissal of charges.

“We’re getting a list of pending cases together. We’re working
on an inventory of our clients who are in the predicament they are in
because of these three officers,” said Assistant Public Defender Scott
Slonim, a supervisor in the Rolling Meadows branch courthouse, where
most criminal cases out of Schaumburg are heard.

Slonim said one defendant in a pending case, whom he did not
name, has an upcoming hearing at which “I’m confident that the State’s
Attorney’s Office will do the right thing. The credibility of those
officers will not stand up in court.”

Also today, Schaumburg Village Manager Ken Fritz released a new
statement the village is disappointed in the officers and reiterating
that the village will cooperate with authorities.

“The Village of Schaumburg fully supports efforts to prosecute
these officers to the fullest extent under the law,” the statement said.
It added that the village took immediate steps to place the men on
leave when officials learned Wednesday of their arrests and will seek to
have them terminated if the allegations prove true.

Relatives and neighbors of Hudak expressed shock at his arrests.

Hudak’s uncle, Michael Magazzine of Ohio, said he didn’t believe
his nephew would be capable of the crimes prosecutors are alleging.
Magazzine said Hudak grew up in the Cleveland-area and the uncle said he
still sometimes sees his nephews at holidays.

“He’s a good kid. I changed his diaper,” Magazzine said.“I can’t see him selling (drugs). … That’s not the man I know.”

Howard Bean, Hudak’s neighbor in Algonquin, said he had “nothing
but good things to say about” Hudak and his wife. “He’s a good man, a
good father, he’s been a good neighbor.”

Howard’s wife Arlene said she has baby sat for the Hudaks’ two young children.

Christy Gutowski is a Tribune reporter. Clifford Ward is a
freelance reporter. Tribune reporter Jonathan Bullington and freelance
reporters George Houde and Amanda Marrazzo contributed.,0,2751112.story

Left to right: Nicole Brehm, 44, John Cichy, 30, Matthew Hudak, 29, and Terrance O'Brien, 47.


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