Former chief of detectives released from prison, going to halfway house

July 20, 2011

The Associated Press

AP Photo
Former Chicago Police chief of detectives William Hanhardt pleads guilty in this courtroom artist's drawing, Oct. 25, 2001.

A former Chicago Police Department chief of detectives who helped run a nationwide ring of jewel thieves has been released from a federal prison into a Chicago-area halfway house. 

A Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman says the transfer of 82-year-old William Hanhardt to a halfway house comes about six months before he is scheduled to be release from custody in January. 

Hanhardt pleaded guilty in October 2001 to running an alleged organized crime theft ring that stalked jewelry salesmen and stole more than $5 million in diamonds over 20 years.

Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said Tuesday that Hanhardt was being held at a federal prison in Terre Haute, but he declined to disclose the location of the halfway house where he will live until he completes his sentence.