Three police officers who are detectives in the narcotics division of the Schaumburg Police Department in Chicago’s northwest suburb of the village of Schaumburg have been charged with multiple drug conspiracy charges – a charge which the Schaumburg’s chief of police, Brian Howerton and other village officials, responded to on Thursday, according to the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald.
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The incidents leading to the charges being filed against the three police detectives began when near-by Carol Stream police officers found approximately 10 ounces of cocaine in an apartment’s storage locker a couple of weeks ago. The accused, in that incident, claimed that he was an informant for the Schaumburg tactical police officers who had evolved into business partners. According to the informant, the three officers had been stealing cash and narcotics from drug dealers, and the informant said he was selling the drugs that the officers seized.
The three police detectives who were arrested and are being held on $750,000 cash bond are Terrance O'Brien who is 47 years old, John Cichy who is 30, and Matthew Hudak who is 29. ABC News in Chicago has reported that the charges include the manufacturing and delivering of illegal drugs, criminal drug conspiracy, official misconduct, armed violence, and theft.
Howerton, who has recently had unrelated legal concerns of his own, acknowledged in an email to his officers on Thursday that the case – which began with an investigation into the three cops selling drugs – has been a difficult time for the Schaumburg Police Department. He informed his officers that he, too, had just learned of the criminal case against the fellow-officers. Additionally, he asked the police force to continue doing its job of serving the public with pride, as he claimed that the incident involving the three officers does not tarnish the entire force.
From the city government, Schaumburg Village Manager Ken Fritz announced via a statement on Thursday that the village is not only fully cooperating with the prosecution of the three officers – who are now on administrative leave - but is also going to engage in its own investigation.
Unfortunately, for the Schaumburg Police Department, the drug arrests of the three officers follows criminal charges made against Chief of Police Howerton for having allegedly stalked, intimidated, and harassed an ex-girlfriend who was involved with Howerton for 18 months. Those charges were dropped by the Cook County State’s Attorney two days prior to the public being informed of the drug arrests. Yet, Schaumburg’s Office of Professional Standards is continuing to investigation into the matter involving Howerton and his ex-girlfriend.
Fritz is reminding the public-at-large that the two incidents – the drug charges against the three officers and the harassment charge against the chief of police – are two separate instances.
Mayor Al Larson of Schaumburg maintains that:
I think the only comment we can make is that we have a fine police department, and we're going to continue to have a great department even after all of this is dealt with. We had something happen here that was untoward and we're dealing with it.
DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin said that the arrest of the three officers was not widespread throughout the department. The village of Schaumburg is in DuPage County.