A sergeant and an officer who combined their command over a gang team and their access to the courts, in a scheme to rob drug dealers, are the latest heads to roll in a federal probe into corruption in the Chicago Police Department.

Disgraced Sgt. Xavier Elizondo, 45, and Officer David Salgado, 37, are facing up to 10 years behind bars for orchestrating an operation that may not be uncommon in its aims but was unconventional in its means.

An indictment that was announced to the public on Thursday, May 10, charges them with embezzlement, conspiracy to commit theft, and lying to the FBI, for conducting illegal raids and taking narcotics and cash from street dealers. But they weren't simply targeting cars to pull over without probable cause or conducting warrantless raids.

Elizondo and Salgado's case is unique in that they would arrange to obtain warrants to conduct the raids legally by having some of the gang members under their jurisdiction give false testimony before Cook County judges. In exchange, they'd share the proceeds seized in the raids with the informants, according to details of the investigation.

As a result, Elizondo and Salgado will almost certainly do hefty time, and a review is underway to see just how many of the warrants they filed with the Leighton Criminal Court Building can be challenged or overturned due to the findings.

Source: chicagotribune.com