CPD sergeant, diver known for finding Rizzo’s wedding ring implicated in bribe scheme

WGN Investigates

CHICAGO — A diver who gained attention for finding Anthony Rizzo’s lost wedding ring in Lake Michigan is now accused of paying a bribe that led to the end of a CPD officer’s career and the potential firing of another.

Diver Yohei Yamada gained attention last summer when Cubs star Anthony Rizzo lost his wedding ring in Belmont Harbor. Yamada made the media rounds after being hired to find the ring; and he did — the very next day.

This year however, Yamada has been accused of paying a bribe to Chicago police in order to search a lock that connects the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Officials believe he paid the bribe, which is approximately $1,000, to CPD sergeant Eduardo Beltran, so he could search for a client’s busted boat propeller.

“Beltran accepted approximately $1,000 for personal use from a professional diver” to “gain access to the Chicago Harbor Lock,” a filing from CPD Supt. Brown to the police board read.

Sergeant Beltran is accused of using department equipment, resources and personnel to try and find the propeller at the bottom of the lock; a search that used the marine unit’s specialized sonar scanner.

A second marine unit officer, Michael Michalik, resigned before he could be disciplined. He’s accused of filing a false report about the off-the-books dive.

Sergeant Beltran is now suspended without pay while the police board determines whether to follow Supt. Brown’s recommendation that he be fired.

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