Officers Terrance O Brien, Matthew Hudak, and John Cichy have been held since their arrests January 16. Phil Rogers reports.
A DuPage County judge on Thursday ordered three former Schaumburg police officers to wear GPS monitoring devices after she agreed to lower their bonds on charges they ran a sophisticated drug ring using narcotics stolen from real drug dealers.
Officers Terrance O’Brien, Matthew Hudak, and John Cichy have been held since their arrests January 16.
Each initially held on $750,000 bond, Judge Blanche Fawell lowered Cichy’s to $250,000, O’Brien's to $300,000 and Hudak's to $350,000. All three will have to post 10 percent to gain their freedom.
The three officers were accused of stealing cash and drugs during the course of their regular narcotics enforcement duties and re-selling the drugs through their own suburban drug operation. Unbeknownst to them, a drug dealer they utilized was working as an informant for investigators.
"They had the duty to enforce the law, not be ongoing violators of the law," said prosecutor Audrey Anderson.
She pleaded with the judge to keep the bonds high, warning that none of the officers had reason to stay in the area, knowing that their lives were finished here and each faced decades in prison.
But defense lawyers suggested the opposite was true, arguing the three disgraced officers had no support systems outside of their families. Those family members, attorneys said, would be on the hook for thousands of dollars if the suspects defaulted on their bonds.
"Certainly the allegations are very serious against my client, and there’s some indication of involvement, that’s for sure," said Cichy’s attorney, Jay Fuller.
But Fuller suggested that if the charges were true, his client should be held less accountable, because he played a smaller role.
"He’s the junior man, and he’s the junior member in this alleged conspiracy," he said.
Cichy choked back tears as his alleged misdeeds were described in the hearing, which was televised for the first time. When O’Brien was brought before the judge, an outraged Anderson warned that he was especially risky for a lowered bond because he had already demonstrated a tendency toward deception.
O’Brien, she said, had a 16-year-old daughter with a girlfriend outside a marriage where he had fathered four other children.
Noting his alleged dual role as a police officer and a drug dealer, Anderson told the judge he was maintaining multiple personas.
"This defendant had three lives," she said. "For 13 or 14 years, this defendant kept his mistress and his daughter secret from his wife."
The three officers face a minimum of 24 years in prison. Each was ordered to wear GPS tracking devices if they make bail. And all will be required to attend a bail hearing to explain where they got the bond money to prove it did not come from their alleged misdeeds.
Schaumburg officials announced Wednesday the men have resigned from their posts as police officers.