One of three Schaumburg police detectives accused of reselling drugs they had seized from dealers pleaded guilty Friday and was sentenced to 24 years in prison.
Terrence O’Brien, 47, an officer in the northwest suburb for 23 years, will have to serve a minimum of 12 years, said Paul Darrah, spokesman for the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.
Also charged in the investigation were John Cichy, 30, a 10-year Schaumburg police veteran; and Matthew Hudak, 29, a five-year veteran.
All were charged with numerous felonies, including delivery of a controlled substance, armed violence, criminal drug conspiracy, theft and burglary, prosecutors said.
The officers are accused of taking part in an elaborate plan, lasting at least six months, that involved withholding drugs taken during arrests, then reselling them through a street dealer, DuPage County prosecutors said. The drugs included marijuana and cocaine, authorities said.
The plan came to light in January 2013 as part of a drug investigation being conducted by Carol Stream police.
An informant told investigators the officers had contacted him about six months ago to sell drugs given to him by the cops, prosecutor Audrey Anderson said in earlier court proceedings.
After his arrest, O’Brien told investigators he took part in the scheme “for the thrill of it,” Anderson said.
“He did not have any money problems,” she said, though authorities contended the veteran officer was living “two lives.”
O’Brien was married, but also had a girlfriend in the area with whom he had a child, Anderson said in court.
His girlfriend also faces drug charges; she is accused of participating in the drug scheme.