Two of the Chicago police officers tasked with helping to keep Chicago safe from gang violence decided to make things worse for the citizens they were supposed to be protecting.
The 2 officers are accused of lying to judges to obtain search warrants and then stealing cash and drugs from the properties they searched, reported Fox News.
According to a federal indictment, officers Xavier Elizondo, 45, and David Salgado, 37, are facing federal charges of embezzlement and conspiracy to commit theft. Salgado is also charged with lying to the FBI.
Prosecutors said the cops were working as gang officers from June 2017 and January of this year when they participated in their scheme. Among other things, they allegedly stole $4,200 from a rental vehicle they searched and falsified police reports in an attempt to hide their actions.
Elizondo and Salgado hired 2 people to pose as confidential informants and lie to convince state court judges to sign their search warrants. The fake informants would get a portion of the drugs, cartons of cigarettes and cash the officers stole from the property they illegally searched.
Investigators were tipped off to the scheme when an actual informant complained that the gang squad robbed him. Federal investigators then executed legitimate search warrants on the officers.
If convicted, both officers are facing a maximum of 10 years in prison for embezzlement and 5 for conspiracy. Salgado faces an additional 5 for lying to the FBI.
“Over the last two years, CPD [Chicago Police Department] has worked tirelessly to build trust and partnerships with the communities we serve,” Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson said. “That is why the alleged conduct is very troubling – it dishonors what I and every member of CPD have dedicated our lives to and risk our lives for each and every day.”
Police spokesman Frank Giancamilli said the officers were placed on administrative duties when they were informed of the investigation, and they were suspended without pay after the indictment.