CHICAGO – Several Chicago police officers have been stripped of their powers amid a federal investigation, according to Chicago Tribune sources.
The officers, who are part of a tactical gang unit, are accused of stealing from drug dealers.
A federal source confirmed the existence of an investigation dating back to early 2017.
The officers are assigned to the Area Central gang team that covers the South and West Sides and the nearly yearlong investigation is being led by the FBI with help from CPD Internal Affairs division.
The allegations brought forth by drug dealers claiming the officers in question pocketed proceeds from their sales.
The investigation reportedly involves a sergeant and three officers.
On Tuesday, a search warrant was issued on the homes of at least two officers.
According to the Tribune, federal agents set up a sting to catch officers on undercover cover video within the past year.
Anthony Guglielmi, a police department spokesman issued the following statement:
"Integrity and accountability are paramount to the Chicago Police Department and we work hard every day to build and safeguard public trust to that end we cannot comment on any investigation internal or otherwise until or unless criminal charges are filed unquote."
The investigation comes in the aftermath of the Laquan McDonald shooting, subsequent protests and ongoing efforts to improve department procedures and training.
In recent years, other scandals have plagued the department. In 2006, 12 officers led by Jerome Finnegan were convicted in connection with the now disbanded Special Operations Unit. The officers were found guilty of shaking down drug dealers and law abiding citizens during routine traffic stops.
Presently the city is dealing with disgraced former Chicago Police Department Sergeant Ronald Watts and his crew who were found guilty of confiscating drug money and framing as many 20 individuals who have their convictions vacated by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.