A federal judge has ruled that there is probable cause for the government to continue its case against a former Harvey police officer accused of providing protection for what he thought were drug dealers operating in the south suburbs.
Archie Stallworth was arrested last week, as part of an elaborate FBI sting, in which agents posed as drug dealers and enlisted the help of sworn police officers to provide armed protection.
A total of 17 people were charged in the sweeping indictment, including 15 sworn officers, four of them from Harvey's troubled police department.
In court Thursday, prosecutors played undercover tapes in which Stallworth was heard giving advice to an undercover agent he believed to be a drug dealer, on the best ways to avoid detection.
The officer was present during what he was led to believe was the delivery of a large quantity of cocaine on a business jet at DuPage County airport, and later, as the drugs (actually phony bundles of "cocaine") were transferred to another vehicle in a Target parking lot.
Stallworth was heard on the tapes, reprimanding his contact for conduct which could arouse suspicion.
"It's kinda suspect. You walk in, he comes in with three bags, you walk out with three bags. He go this way, go that way. In an airport, that's probable cause," Stallworth is heard saying.
In another recorded conversation, the undercover agent is heard Stallworth that he can do some brokering.
"If you're cool with that, I'll take care of you. You know, one guy will just bring a duffel bag of money. The other guy will bring a couple kilos of coke," the agent is heard saying.
On the tape, Stallworth seems to indicate he is onboard, but declares that he doesn't want to know too much.
"I don't even want to know what it is," he says. "I make sure you get there and get back."
At the same time, he also allegedly offered advice on how to avoid detection. "The best spot for ya'll to do all that, believe it or not, is the train station. Fast food places, that's where we (law enforcement) be looking. Sit there all day or they set up surveillance cameras."
On the stand in court Thursday, FBI agent Christopher Straub testified that Stallworth was paid $1,000 for his services on the DuPage Airport delivery.
Stallworth's arrest is part of a case which included 10 Cook County officers, four Harvey police officers and a Chicago officer. The investigation spanned a year and allegedly involved 12 undercover drug transactions, all of which were captured on tape.