Trial set for ex-Schaumburg cop accused of operating drug ring

A former Schaumburg police officer accused of running a drug-dealing operation with two fellow officers will have his now 5-year-old case heard Tuesday by DuPage County Judge Liam Brennan.

Former tactical officer John Cichy, now 35, was arrested in January 2013 along with fellow former officers Matthew Hudak, now 34, and Terrance O'Brien, now 51, and accused of forcing an informant to sell narcotics the officers had confiscated.

A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration investigation found evidence that the officers stole cocaine and marijuana from dealers and police seizures for at least six months and then resold the drugs through the informant, authorities said.

The investigation began on 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.

During the next two weeks, prosecutors said, 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.

The officers then split the cash from the drug sales, prosecutors said.

Both Hudak and O'Brien pleaded guilty to several counts and already are serving their sentences. Both have been brought back to DuPage County jail and are expected to testify against Cichy.

Cichy's three previous trial dates were postponed. There was also a lengthy delay while an appeals court considered a pretrial ruling.

In March 2014, O'Brien 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. He is serving a 24-year sentence but could be released after 12 years.

Hudak pleaded guilty to identical charges in April 2014 and is serving a 26-year sentence. He could be released after 13 years.

If Cichy is found guilty of all counts, he could face as many as 36 years in prison. He has been free on $25,000 bail since February 2013.

The trial begins at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Wheaton.

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  John Cichy, one of three former Schaumburg police officers accused of shaking down drug dealers and peddling narcotics in DuPage County, will be back in DuPage court Tuesday for the start of his bench trial before Judge Liam Brennan. Bev Horne/
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