Police Board fires corrupt CPD officer convicted of stealing cash, drugs, lying to FBI

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Former CPD officer David Salgado (left) and Sgt. Xavier Elizondo. Both were convicted last year of using bogus search warrants to steal cash and drugs.

CHICAGO — A year after he was sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison, former Chicago police officer David Salgado was officially fired from the police department.

The largely symbolic decision came during the Chicago Police Board’s monthly meeting Thursday night. Chicago police Supt. David Brown recommended Salgado be terminated in September 2020.

Salgado, 40, was sentenced to 71 months in federal prison last year after a jury found him and another officer, former Sgt. Xavier Elizondo, guilty of conspiracy to commit theft, embezzlement, obstruction of justice and deprivation of civil rights. Salgado was also convicted of lying to the FBI. 

Federal prosecutors brought the charges against the two now-former police officers in 2018, accusing them of submitting bogus affidavits to judges as a means to obtain search warrants. Elizondo and Salgado used those warrants, prosecutors said, as a way to steal cash and narcotics from the homes they raided.

Often, the two procured “John Doe” search warrants, which are based on verified tips from anonymous sources. The CPD announced earlier this year that the department would change its warrant policies in the wake of the botched raid on Anjanette Young’s home in 2019.

At least a dozen lawsuits have been brought against the officers since they were charged. City and court records show that, as of August 2021, the city has agreed to pay out a little more than a half million dollars to settle eight of those lawsuits. 

In one of those lawsuits, which settled for $100,000 in January 2020, Salgado and Elizondo were among several officers accused of entering and violently searching a home on the Southwest Side before planting more than 11 pounds of marijuana inside. 

Two others have reached settlement agreements, but the City Council has yet to approve them. Two more lawsuits are still pending in court, records show.

Elizondo, 49, was the brains of the operation, Salgado’s attorneys previously said.

Before his criminal activity began, Elizondo was heavily involved in a probe of one of the city’s most notorious purported gang leaders: Labar “Bro Man” Spann, a “chief” of the Four Corner Hustlers on the West Side.

Spann and several other Four Corner Hustlers were charged in a federal racketeering conspiracy in Fall of 2017. The charges linked the gang to nine murders between 2000 and 2012, along with several other shootings, robberies and a host of narcotics activity. 

Federal prosecutors previously disclosed that investigators had collected hundreds of hours’ worth of wiretapped conversations involving Spann and the other defendants. After Elizondo and Salgado were charged, attorneys for Spann’s co-defendants sought to have the wiretaps barred from trial, but the judge in the case ruled them admissible.

All of Spann’s co-defendants have pleaded guilty, but he is scheduled to face trial — one that’s expected to last several months — in September.

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