Prosecutors say 15 cases tainted by Schaumburg cops accused of narcotics ring

Felony drug charges dropped Monday against 3 defendants

By George Houde, Special to the TribuneJanuary 29, 2013

Fallout from the recent arrest of three Schaumburg police officers continued Monday as Cook County prosecutors dropped felony charges against three defendants linked to the trio’s police work.

The state’s attorney’s office said it had reviewed 19 cases involving the officers, and 15 will be dropped. The remaining four are expected to move forward, officials said.

“All of the cases involve felony drug-related charges,” said Tandra Simonton, spokeswoman for the state’s attorney’s office.

The review began after the arrests this month of officers John Cichy, Terrance O’Brien and Matthew Hudak on allegations they started their own illegal narcotics business last year with drugs and cash they had stolen from dealers.

On Jan. 11, five days before the officers were arrested, Cichy handcuffed Marleny Gutierrez at her residence on Mors Avenue in Wheeling while executing a search warrant, according to authorities. She was charged with delivery of marijuana and freed on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond, officials said.

Assistant State’s Attorney Katherine Levine asked Judge Jill Cerone-Marisie in Rolling Meadows branch court to dismiss the charges against Gutierrez, who already was on probation for a felony drug conviction in December.

Cerone-Marisie dismissed the charge, as well as the ones pending against Raina Lewerenz, 20, of Franklin Park, charged with possession of Ecstasy pills, and Alex Garcia, 18, of Palatine, charged with delivery of cocaine.

Lewerenz was arrested in September at Woodfield Mall and was freed on a personal recognizance bond after agreeing to go to an anti-drug program, prosecutors said. Her case would have been dismissed in March if she completed the program successfully, they noted.

Garcia was arrested Jan. 4 by Palatine officers; it was not clear how the Schaumburg officers were involved in his case.

It was also unclear Monday if Garcia was in custody, or if any of the defendants knew their cases were dismissed.

Scott Slonim, supervisor of the Cook County public defender’s office at the Rolling Meadows courthouse, said the cases were dropped because the officers’ testimony would no longer be believed.

“It’s not only Schaumburg cases they infected,” said Slonim. “They worked with other police departments.”

The officers were arrested Jan. 16 by federal agents near Woodfield Mall, where the three had made a number of drug arrests over the past several years, according to authorities.

Assistant Public Defender Joe Gump said he defended a client who was arrested by the officers in 2011, before they allegedly began their own business. The man pleaded guilty last summer and received 12 years in prison.

“That case might come back in a post-conviction motion,” said Gump.

Charged with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and calculated criminal drug conspiracy — among dozens of other offenses — the three officers remain in custody on $750,000 cash bail.

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

Prosecutors say 15 cases tainted by Schaumburg cops accused of narcotics ring

About Aaron Law Firm

Aaron Law Firm handles criminal cases in city, state and federal courts in the state of Alabama. If you are accused of a crime it has to be taken seriously, even accusation of a crime can have serious effect on many different areas of your life. If it is a DUI or something more serious it has to be taken as a threat to your freedom. After you have been accused of a crime, you should always consult a lawyer before talking to the authorities . Seek immediate legal counsel and make sure your rights are protected.

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