Former Chicago police Sgt. Eddie Hicks took off 15 years ago rather than face trial. But the manhunt that went from Cook County to Texas to Brazil came to an end a few months ago in Detroit. Now the former officer faces federal charges of racketeering conspiracy, drug-trafficking conspiracy, theft of government funds and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime.
Law enforcement officials believe Hicks ran a renegade group of cops who robbed drug dealers and then re-sold the stolen goods.
Hicks will also face a charge of failing to appear in court, officials said. He apparently lived in Michigan under the alias David Rose.
He was a 29-year police force veteran when he was charged in 2001 with leading the rogue crew that included another sergeant and two civilian police department employees. The Chicago Tribune reported that they were all convicted of robbing drug dealers and selling the stolen merchandise to other drug traffickers.
A 2011 investigation by the paper showed that the longtime narcotics officer received monthly pension checks totaling more than $300,000 while he was on the run. He retired from the force in 2000.
Prosecutors believe that for nearly 10 years, Hicks and his group used fake search warrants to raid drug houses and steal illegal wares. They also performed illegal traffic stops of dealers in order to confiscate narcotics for resale.
A drug dealer arrested in 2000 told authorities of how he had helped Hicks target other dealers. The FBI then set up a sting that ensnared Hicks and the two civilians conducting a raid on mocked-up drug houses.
The tale is yet another telling sign of law enforcement corruption that puts in doubt charges and evidence against others. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help protect your rights and freedom in these matters.