Chicago Cops Convicted In Federal Corruption Trial

Chicago Police Car
Two Chicago police officers were convicted by a jury Tuesday of lying to get search warrants and stealing from raids. (Bill Healy/WBEZ)
Chicago Police Car
Two Chicago police officers were convicted by a jury Tuesday of lying to get search warrants and stealing from raids. (Bill Healy/WBEZ)

Chicago Cops Convicted In Federal Corruption Trial

A federal jury on Tuesday handed down guilty verdicts against Chicago Police Sgt. Xavier Elizondo and Officer David Salgado.

The officers were convicted of five counts apiece for a scheme in which they bribed informants to lie for search warrants, stole from the illegal seizures and then tried to cover-up their crimes.

The charges include conspiracy, embezzlement and obstruction of justice.

The corruption trial lasted two weeks. The jury deliberated for less than a day.

The two men face the possibility of decades in prison, but Salgado’s defense attorney said his client is also eligible for probation. Sentencing is set for January, the officers will both be free until then.

Attorney Michael Petro said he plans to challenge the verdict, at the center of his appeal will be the judge’s decision to force the two officers to be tried together. Petro said he believes there was no evidence against Salgado, but his client was swept up in the vast amount of evidence against his supervising officer, Elizondo.

During closing arguments Monday, Petro took issue with prosecutors referring to his client as “Little X” a diminutive reference to Elizondo’s nickname of “X.” Petro called the nickname “short shaming” and said there was “scant evidence” that “Little X” was ever a nickname of Salgado’s.

Elizondo and his attorney declined to comment.

Patrick Smith is a reporter on WBEZ’s Criminal Justice Desk. Follow him @pksmid. Email him at psmith@wbez.org.