Regular readers of our legal blog know that we recently wrote about a pair of Chicago cops who are accused of lying to Cook County judges to get search warrants. Prosecutors believe Sgt. Xavier Elizondo and Officer David Salgado used improperly obtained warrants to conduct searches in order to steal cash and drugs from the homes of those raided and arrest the residents on drug trafficking charges.
According to the Chicago Tribune, State’s Attorney Kim Fox has so far dropped charges against 37 people who were arrested by the team headed by Elizondo.
In addition to the dozens of dropped charges, at least four people have filed federal lawsuits alleging that Elizondo and his team illegally targeted them.
According to the Tribune, it seems likely that the charges dropped so far are just the start. People who were convicted on charges connected to the pair might well have some success in getting the convictions overturned.
Elizondo and Salgado have pleaded not guilty to embezzlement and conspiracy to commit theft. Salgado also pled not guilty to a charge of lying to the FBI.
According to a recently unsealed FBI search warrant affidavit, at least one informant for Elizondo’s team claims to have received drugs and cash in exchange for information.
The Tribune reports that the officers allegedly gave an informant money to buy PCP from a suspect and then gave the purchased drugs to the informant before raiding the woman’s home that same day. They said they found PCP in her residence and arrested her on a drug-trafficking charge that was later dropped by prosecutors.
These are the kinds of reports that erode confidence in the police and the accusations that officers make.
If you face drug-related charges, contact a criminal defense attorney experienced in successfully defending rights and freedoms.