The dominoes continued to fall Tuesday as Cook County prosecutors dropped charges against two more defendants whose cases involved undercover Schaumburg police officers arrested in DuPage County earlier this month on drug conspiracy charges.
Prosecutors dropped charges of delivery of a controlled substance against Diangelo Beasley, 25, who was arrested in Arlington Heights in June by accused Schaumburg officers John Cichy, Matthew Hudak and Terrance O'Brien. Had Beasley been convicted of the class X felony, he would have faced up to 30 years in prison.
“We're happy that the state did the right thing,” said Beasley's attorney, Cook County Assistant Public Defender Rachel Baker.
Cook County prosecutors on Tuesday also dropped charges of drug manufacturing and delivery and possession against Mario Alvarez-Romero, 33, of Schaumburg, who also faced up to 30 years in prison had he been convicted of the most serious charges. As with Beasley, all three officers participated in Alvarez-Romero's arrest, authorities said. Additionally, prosecutors made a motion to quash and recall the bond forfeiture warrant Cook County Judge Ellen Mandletort issued in November after the defendant failed to show up for court.
Neither Beasley nor Alvarez-Romero appeared in court Tuesday. The dismissal of charges against them follows Monday's dismissal of charges against three defendants whose cases involved one or more of the accused officers.
As members of the Schaumburg Police Department's Special Investigations Bureau, the three officers — Cichy, 30, Hudak, 29, and O'Brien, 46 — took part in undercover operations involving drugs, gangs and prostitution. The trio was arrested earlier this month in DuPage County on charges they skimmed drugs from police seizures and used a former informant to sell the product.
Each is being held on $750,000 cash bond, meaning he must post the entire amount to be released from custody. Additionally, the defendants have to prove the bond money comes from a legitimate source. A fourth co-defendant, Nicole Brehm, 44, of Hoffman Estates is being held on $150,000 bond on charges her home served as a “stash house” for drugs.
Attorneys for Hudak and O'Brien have filled motions for bond reductions, court records show. The defendants are scheduled to appear in a DuPage County courtroom Wednesday for a hearing on media requests for cameras in the courtroom. Another court appearance is scheduled for Thursday, court records show.
The investigation into the officers began Jan. 2 when police discovered about 9 ounces of cocaine inside a Carol Stream storage shed. That led to a former police informant who said he'd been dealing drugs for three Schaumburg cops who had previously arrested him. Surveillance collected over two weeks showed the officers discussing ripping off dealers and delivering drugs or money to the informant, authorities said.
In the wake of the officers' arrests nearly two weeks ago, Cook County Public Defender Abishi Cunningham and State's Attorney Anita Alvarez announced reviews of cases involving the officers. The state's attorney reviewed the drug-related cases of 19 defendants in which the officers were involved. Fifteen of those defendants will have the cases against them dismissed, the spokeswoman said. Four will move forward.
Cunningham commended the state's attorney's office for reviewing cases and “doing the right thing.”
“The state's attorneys to their credit have come to the opinion that they didn't feel they could sustain a prosecution,” said Cunningham, whose office continues to review disposed cases involving the accused officers.
“I'm happy the right thing is being done,” he said.
Daily Herald writer Josh Stockinger contributed to this report.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.