Friday, September 22, 2017
Ex-Chicago cop, a fugitive for almost 15 years, arrested in Detroit
Hat Tip: Second City Cop
The following article appeared in the Chicago Tribune on September 19th
By Jason Meisner
Former Chicago police Sgt. Eddie C. Hicks was arrested in Detroit Tuesday morning, nearly 15 years after he fled on the eve of trial on federal drug conspiracy charges.
Hicks, 68, has been the subject of an international manhunt since 2003, according to the FBI. He appeared in federal court in Detroit on Tuesday and was ordered held until he can be brought to Chicago to face the charges.
A 29-year veteran of the police force, Hicks was charged in Chicago in 2001 with running a crew of rogue officers who robbed drug dealers, pocketed the illicit cash and sold the stolen drugs to other pushers. After Hicks fled the country on the eve of his trial in 2003, authorities said he was presumed to have traveled to Brazil.
A Tribune investigation later found that while he was on the lam, Hicks repeatedly conducted financial transactions in Chicago to enrich himself and the people closest to him. Two years after Hicks vanished, his signature appeared on land records giving his son — also a Chicago police officer — the South Side property Hicks had used to secure his $150,000 bond. In addition, by the time of the Tribune investigation in 2011, monthly police pension checks totaling more than $300,000 had been paid to Hicks' bank account or cashed by his wife.
At his brief appearance in a Detroit courtroom on Tuesday, Hicks waived his right to a hearing to establish his identity and agreed to be brought immediately to Chicago, according to audio of the hearing made public.
When U.S. Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen asked Hicks if that was his wish, he replied in a calm voice, "Yes, your honor," according to the audio.
A longtime narcotics officer, Hicks retired from the Chicago Police Department while under federal investigation in March 2000.
Until then, he seemingly had a charmed career, working personal friendships with top commanders to land plush assignments such as providing security at Chicago Bulls games.
According to the federal charges, Hicks led a crew that for nearly a decade used fake search warrants to rip off drug stash houses and also stole drugs and cash from dealers during illegal traffic stops.
A major cocaine dealer, Arthur Veal, had been tipping Hicks and his crew — including another sergeant and two former police civilian employees — to lucrative targets to rob. But in 2000, Veal was busted and told authorities of his history with the officers.
The FBI set up two South Side apartments to look like drug houses, equipping them with hidden audio and video equipment. Veal tipped Hicks off to the locations, the charges alleged, and the two police civilian employees were captured on video breaking into both apartments and escaping with a combined $13,000 in cash. Authorities charged that Hicks was outside providing surveillance and communicating with those inside by cellphone.
In one recorded conversation before a robbery in 2000, Hicks told Veal that the money they were told would be at the stash house better be there or his crew might get upset.
"I mean if I tell these guys, you know, you might be making a hundred grand and then they end up with four grand, ya know," Hicks was quoted in one government filing as saying.
By the time Hicks' trial was scheduled to begin in June 2003, three of his four co-defendants had pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme. But Hicks, who had been out on bail, didn't show up on his trial's opening day.
Federal court officials had allowed Hicks to secure his $150,000 bond by posting as collateral a gated three-story brick apartment building he owned with his son, Anthony, the Tribune reported as part of its 2011 "Fugitives From Justice" investigation, which focused on Chicago-area suspects who fled across borders.
Authorities didn't seize that building after Eddie Hicks became a fugitive, according to the Tribune story. Two years later, in 2005, Hicks' signature appeared on a property deed transferring ownership of the building solely to his son.
Reached by telephone Tuesday, Anthony Hicks hung up on a reporter.
The Tribune also reported that the day after he fled, Hicks apparently signed paperwork directing the police pension fund to mail his annuity checks of more than $3,000 per month to a South Side home where he had lived with his wife, Carol Pierce.
Pierce immediately began cashing the checks, which bore Hicks' apparent signature and endorsement on the back.
Two years later, Hicks' signature appeared on a form directing the fund to wire his monthly benefit payments into his account with the Chicago Patrolman's Federal Credit Union, the Tribune found.
Ed. No doubt Antifa and Black Lives Matter will immediately praise police for the capture of this thoroughly corrupt sub-human. Uh huh.
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