A big corruption bust in Chicago, an ugly story out of upstate New York, and a sticky-fingered narc in Michigan, plus a former Schenectady police chief cuts a deal and heads for prison. Let's get to it:
In Chicago, 15 police officers and two men who posed as police officers were indicted Tuesday on charges of conspiracy to possess and distribute large amounts of cocaine and heroin. The indictments were the result of an FBI sting that had crooked police officers and sheriff's deputies delivering cocaine shipments, acting as armed guards, and advising drug dealers about the availability of marked police cars for drug deliveries. Those charged included 10 Cook County sheriff's correctional officers, four suburban Harvey police officers and one Chicago police officer. The two others claimed to be law enforcement officers but were not, federal officials said. Fourteen were arrested or surrendered Tuesday, and were being immediately brought before US Magistrate Judge Michael Mason. Two -- Ahyetoro Taylor, 28, of Joliet and Jermaine Bell, 37, of Lynwood, both Cook County sheriff's officers -- are on active duty with Army National Guard units in Afghanistan. Warrants were issued for their arrest. If convicted on the federal charges, each faces a mandatory minimum 10-year sentence and a maximum of life.
In Buffalo, New York, a Niagara Falls police officer was arrested Tuesday on charges he sexually assaulted two women and trafficked in cocaine, sometimes while in uniform. Officer Ryan Warme, 27, faces federal civil rights and narcotics conspiracy charges. According to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, Warme forced one woman to perform oral sex on him when he came to her apartment after she called police about an abusive ex-boyfriend. A second woman reported that Warme broke into her apartment in 2006 while she was sleeping and raped her. She told investigators she saw him walk back to a police car after the assault. In between sex crimes, Warme was apparently busy dealing in cocaine. Investigators said he bought coke at least five times while in uniform.
In Benton Harbor, Michigan, a former Benton Harbor narcotics officer was arrested November 30 for stealing drugs he seized while on duty. Andrew Collins, 26, is charged with one count of cocaine possession and one charge of possession with the intent to distribute more than five grams of crack cocaine. Collins is also accused of reporting false "controlled purchase" drug buys to improperly obtain search warrants and to embezzle funds from the police department. He resigned in February, when police seized cocaine from him. He now faces between five and 20 years in federal prison.
In Schenectady, New York, former Schenectady police chief Gregory Kaczmarek pleaded guilty Tuesday to being part of a sprawling cocaine and heroin distribution ring. Kaczmarek was able to cop a plea to cocaine possession and is now looking at two years in prison, instead of the 25 he could have received. Kaczmarek and his wife, Lisa, were part of a ring that regularly shipped drugs from Long Island to Schenectady. Lisa Kaczmarek also copped a plea to attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance and will do six months in the local jail.