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Article updated: 10/11/2013 7:51 AM

Ex-Chicago policeman gets 22 months for extortion

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By Associated Press

A former Chicago police officer who extorted protection payoffs from drug dealers at a South Side housing project has been sentenced to 22 months in prison.

Ronald Watts, a former police sergeant, was accused of stealing about $5,000 from an FBI informant posing as a drug courier.

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In sentencing the 50-year-old Watts on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman said she believed he'd been guilty of far more widespread corruption than the single count of stealing government funds he plead guilty to in July.

When he pleaded guilty, Watts admitted to directing another police officer, Kallat Mohammed, to take a bag containing the money from a homeless man in November 2011. The man was the informant.

Mohammed pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

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