Ex-Melrose Park cop nabbed in drug sting gets to await trial at in-laws’ home

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After more than a month in a federal lock-up, a former Melrose Park police detective accused in a plot to steal drugs and guns from the department’s evidence room could be released as soon as Tuesday afternoon, a judge said.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole ruled Gregory Salvi may await trial on home detention at his in-laws’ house, where he’d be placed on electronic monitoring. Cole set Salvi’s bond Tuesday at $250,000 — partially secured with an $82,981 pension contribution refund issued by the village after his resignation and $47,000 in equity on his in-laws’ house.

Salvi’s in-laws, Raul and Sylvia Rodriguez, also live in Melrose Park, court records show. Not only did they agree to put up the equity in their home, but they told the judge they would serve as Salvi’s custodians while he is out on bond. After they did so, Sylvia Rodriguez wiped away a tear and hugged Salvi’s mother, who was also in court.

Then Cole warned Salvi that, if he runs away, his in-laws would lose their home.

“If you run away, you will kill these people,” Cole said.

Salvi, dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit, promised not to run.

“I wouldn’t leave my wife and kids,” Salvi said.

Cole previously ruled Salvi can’t live at home with his wife pending the trial. That’s because Salvi allegedly told federal investigators his wife had twice acted as a “courier” for drug money. Though he initially denied his wife was involved in any illegal activity, Salvi told investigators when he was arrested last month she’d twice carried money for him and that he’d been paid $1,000 per trip, prosecutors said.

“He said he made her do it,” federal prosecutor Patrick Otlewski told Cole at an earlier hearing, referring to Salvi.

Salvi’s wife has not been charged in the case.

Salvi has been locked up ever since cops swarmed him April 9 after he met an informant and an undercover agent at a storage facility in northwest suburban Hanover Park. They arrested him after he placed a bag containing 5 kilos of fake cocaine on the passenger seat of the SUV he was driving. He also wore his badge on his belt and a gun in his holster, the FBI said.

He allegedly planned to deliver the drugs to an informant at a condo in the South Loop in exchange for a few thousand dollars, according to the FBI.

The feds say he also plotted to steal drugs and guns from the Melrose Park Police Department’s evidence room. And two government informants wore wires while they discussed drug and weapon deals with Salvi, according to a 76-page FBI affidavit. He was allegedly recorded on video and audio.

“Listen dude, I got f—ing three months left in the police department,” Salvi allegedly told one informant. “Okay? I’m trying to make whatever I can.”

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