Federal authorities yesterday unsealed charges 15 Illinois law enforcement officers, part of a yearlong sting started after widespread reports from informants and other cops that law-enforcement officers were engaging in robbery, extortion, and distribution of narcotics and weapons. Authorities charged 10 Cook County corrections officers and sheriff’s deputies, four Harvey, Il., police officers and one Chicago officer with providing protection for what they thought were a dozen large-scale shipments of cocaine and heroin.
An undercover FBI agent took a job at a strip club posing as a big-time drug broker. He convinced two corrections officers to help and reach out to friends to work security as well. The officers were told to carry their weapons and badges and use them to fend off anyone who might try to interfere in the deal, including other dealers or suspicious police officers, authorities charged. The 15 officers shared in a combined $44,000 in payoffs for illicit security work, $400 to $4,000 for each deal.