The first of three former Schaumburg police officers facing drug conspiracy charges walked out of the DuPage County jail Monday after posting a $35,000 bond.
Matthew Hudak, 29, left the facility about 4 p.m., after nearly three weeks in custody. He faced a throng of reporters and camera crews but answered no questions.
He was allowed to bond out after his attorney presented evidence in court that the mother of Hudak's half brother dipped into her retirement to put up the money. A judge's order requires the three former officers to prove their bonds don't come from ill-gotten gains.
Judge Blanche Hill Fawell ordered Hudak fit with a GPS tracking device and confirmed his passport had been seized. A similar hearing could play out Tuesday for another of the accused former officers, John Cichy, 30, whose family is prepared to raise bond, according to his attorney.
The third co-defendant, Terrance O'Brien, 46, also has made bond arrangements but was not prepared for a hearing Monday, his attorney said. O'Brien's next regular court date is Feb. 21, though a hearing on his potential release could take place sooner.
Also in court Monday, the defendants formally pleaded not guilty to 17-count indictments, which include charges of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, armed violence, calculated criminal drug conspiracy and official misconduct. If convicted, they could face a minimum 24 years in prison under consecutive-sentence laws, authorities said.
Prosecutors say the former narcotics officers shook down drug dealers and worked with a former informant to deal cocaine and marijuana in DuPage County. They were charged last month after a routine drug investigation led to the informant and, later, an undercover surveillance operation. Authorities said the officers had been selling drugs for at least six months.
Hudak's next court date is March 4.