Deputy apparently commits suicide after partner charged with ripping off drug dealers

SHARE Deputy apparently commits suicide after partner charged with ripping off drug dealers

A Cook County Sheriff’s officer apparently committed suicide in jail early Tuesday after he and his partner were arrested in a federal corruption sting.

Stanley M. Kogut, 45, was found hanging from a bed sheet in his cell in the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago, officials said.

His partner, Robert Vaughan, 44, wore an orange jail suit Tuesday morning when he appeared in U.S. District Court on charges of conspiring to commit robberies of marijuana, contraband cigarettes and cash.

At the end of his hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel Martin told him: “Hang in there, Mr. Vaughan. OK?” Vaughan didn’t respond. He sat down and held his head in his hands before being led away by deputy U.S. marshals.

“This is a tragedy on multiple levels,” said Cara Smith, executive director of the Cook County Jail for Sheriff Tom Dart.

The sheriff’s officers — members of a federal anti-drug task force — were arrested Monday afternoon in west suburban Bedford Park after ripping off an undercover FBI agent posing as a drug dealer, according to a federal complaint.

They took about 70 pounds of marijuana from the agent’s vehicle, authorities said.

Jimmy Rodgers, a corrupt Lyons Police Department officer, was the key informant in the case.

Rodgers told the FBI that he and the sheriff’s officers were involved in robberies since 2011.

In August, Rodgers was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing $37,000 and hundreds of cartons of cigarettes in fake police busts. But Rodgers wasn’t required to report to prison immediately. Instead, he was out on bond, allowing him to continue to help FBI agents investigate the sheriff’s officers.

On Sept. 16, Rodgers wore a wire during a conversation with Kogut. Rodgers said the only reason he didn’t “rat” on the sheriff’s officers is because Kogut paid him off. Kogut allegedly gave Rodgers $4,000 to keep quiet.

On the recording, Rodgers suggested that Kogut recover some of the cash from Vaughan and Kogut responded: “I can’t make him f—— pay.”

In a later recording, on Sept. 30, Kogut told Rodgers: “I know you didn’t talk to them [the FBI].” Kogut added that his “stomach was churning for a f—– year.”

Rodgers secretly recorded Kogut and Vaughan talking about planned rip-offs, according to the complaint. The trio allegedly netted at least $100,000 from selling stolen marijuana. Rogers said he and the sheriff’s officers ripped off contraband cigarette traffickers, too, according to the complaint.

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