The second of three former Schaumburg police officers accused of skimming drugs from police seizures and then using an informant to sell the narcotics on the street pleaded guilty Tuesday and was sentenced to 26 years in prison.
Because of various sentencing guidelines, however, he could serve as little as 13 years.
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Matthew Hudak, 30, of Algonquin, accepted DuPage County prosecutors' offer to plead guilty to four of 17 counts against him in exchange for having the remainder dropped.
Hudak pleaded guilty to unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, official misconduct, burglary and armed violence. The unlawful delivery and misconduct sentences will run concurrently with the burglary and armed violence sentences.
Hudak, along with fellow former Schaumburg officers John Cichy, 31, and Terrance O'Brien, 47, was arrested in January 2013. A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration investigation found evidence that for at least six months the officers stole cocaine and marijuana from dealers and police seizures and then resold the drugs through an informant, authorities said.
The investigation began Jan. 2, 2013, when police found about 9 ounces of cocaine in a Carol Stream storage unit. The search led to a former police informant who said he'd been helping three Schaumburg officers deal marijuana and cocaine skimmed from busted drug dealers.
Assistant State's Attorney Audrey Anderson said that during the next two weeks, investigators captured the officers on video and audio surveillance as they made plans and carried out drug deals, often in police vehicles and while wearing their service weapons.
All three defendants resigned from the police department shortly after their arrests.
In court Tuesday, Hudak apologized to prosecutors, the police department and his family. He said the man who got caught up in the drug underworld is not the man he truly is.
"I'm sincerely sorry," Hudak told Judge Blanche Hill Fawell before accepting his sentence. "The path I chose led to the darkest chapter of my life,"
O'Brien was sentenced to 24 years after pleading guilty to identical charges on March 21. Cichy, 31, of Streamwood, is seeking a jury trial. His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 21.
Here's the breakdown of Hudak's sentencing:
• He was sentenced to nine years, of a possible nine to 40, on the unlawful delivery charge and must serve 75 percent of that sentence.
• He was sentenced to five years, of a possible two to five years, on the official misconduct charge and must serve half.
• He was sentenced to five years, of a possible three to seven, on the burglary charge and must serve half.
• He was sentenced to 21 years, of a possible 15 to 30 years, on the armed violence charge and must serve half.
• The delivery and misconduct sentences will be served concurrently with the burglary and armed violence sentences.