Indicted CPD cop seeks to sever federal case from alleged co-conspirator

SHARE Indicted CPD cop seeks to sever federal case from alleged co-conspirator
Chicago police officer Xavier Elizondo’s federal trial is scheduled to resume Monday.

Sgt. Xavier Elizondo appearing in federal court last May. | FOX32

FOX 32

Chicago police Sgt. Xavier Elizondo and Officer David Salgado were federally charged last May with giving phony information to judges to obtain search warrants that federal authorities say they used to steal cash and drugs.

Now, Elizondo — a former member of an FBI task force — is looking to distance himself from Salgado as the feds work to prosecute the two officers.

Elizondo’s attorney, Michael Clancy, filed a motion to sever as defendants in the case last week — a move that would effectively create two cases as Elizondo and Salgado would be prosecuted separately.

The two, who were both assigned to an Area Central gang team in the Ogden District on the West Side, were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit theft and one count of embezzlement. Salgado is also charged with making a false statement to the FBI.

“Elizondo and Salgado will likely present conflicting defenses,” Clancy wrote. “There is a substantial risk that the jury will unfairly consider the evidence against Salgado in reaching a determination as to Elizondo. Additionally, there is concern that the jury will conflate the defendants and base its decision on emotion instead of the law.”

At a brief status hearing Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly told Elizondo’s attorney that the 2 ¼-page motion was “a little on the thin side” and gave him a week to supplement it. Clancy had initially asked for two weeks.

Clancy filed another motion last week to suppress any evidence obtained through a wiretap of Elizondo’s cellphone.

The motion argues that investigators improperly obtained a wiretap, alleging that Judge Ruben Castillo — who signed off on the wiretap — was “kept in the dark” on crucial details.

Antwan Davis, who relayed information to a confidential informant who then passed it along to federal investigators, was arrested by Elizondo more than several years ago and sentenced to more than eight years in prison, Clancy wrote. That detail was omitted from the affidavit used to obtain a wiretap on Elizondo.

“Clearly, Davis had motive, interest, and bias to impugn Elizondo,” Clancy wrote. “Yet the prior relationship between Elizondo and Davis was conveniently omitted from the affidavit.”

“Judge Castillo needed accurate information to make a credibility determination, yet was kept in the dark on this important detail,” Clancy added.

The motion further alleges that investigators did not exhaust all other surveillance options of Elizondo before applying for the wiretap.

“The affidavit merely states the agent’s conclusory opinions that while some investigative techniques had been used or tried, such techniques would not be sufficient to adequately expose the alleged criminal conduct,” the motion states.

Prosecutors have yet to respond to either motion. Kennelly set the case’s next status hearing for mid-December and said he’d rule on the two motions then. A trial — or potential trials — is expected to commence in May 2019.

Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi previously said Elizondo and Salgado were among several officers stripped of their police powers last January as federal authorities were investigating several department members for allegedly ripping off drug dealers.

Records show that Elizondo and Salgado have been the subjects of dozens of misconduct complaints over the years.

In his time with the department, Elizondo been the subject of at least 17 misconduct complaints, according to police records. None was sustained. Twelve of those were related to incidents on the West Side and several alleged an illegal search without an affidavit.

Salgado has had at least 11 misconduct complaints lodged against him since he was hired in August 2003. Only one complaint was sustained.

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