Three people who had been facing felony drug charges in Cook County have now had charges dropped as a result of a scandal involving Schaumburg officers accused of stealing and reselling illegal drugs. We wrote about that scandal in out last post, noting that the three allegedly stole marijuana and cocaine they had obtained in the course of making arrests, and then shared profits after an informant resold the drugs on the street.
In addition to the three cases, twelve more pending drug cases the officers worked on are set to be dismissed. Prosecutors do still plan to continue with four other drug cases investigated by the tactical officers, though.
The three officers face a host of charges including drug conspiracy, official misconduct and armed violence. According to authorities, their arrests tainted some of the cases they worked on, leading to a series of dismissals. So far, though, the number of dismissals is far lower than the 30 or 40 cases authorities said could be dismissed because of the officers.
It remains to be seen how many cases will ultimately be affected by the scandal, but this case is a good reminder of the importance of proper police investigation. Without officers following the correct procedures, investigations can be tainted and charges can be dismissed. A good defense attorney, in addition to protecting a defendant’s basic rights, pays attention to these kinds of details to ensure that any charges the defendant faces are supported by well-founded evidence.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times, “Felony drug charges tossed for 3 arrested by jailed Schaumburg cops,” Dan Rozek, January 28, 2013