Lyons Police Officer Facing Federal Robbery Charge
|FBI Chicago September 30, 2013|
CHICAGO—An officer with the Lyons Police Department (LPD) whose duties included investigating the sale of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes has been charged with robbing and extorting targets of his investigations. The charge was announced today by Robert J. Shields, Jr., Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Jimmy J. Rodgers, 43, was charged in a one-count criminal complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago with Hobbs Act robbery, a felony offense. The complaint was unsealed following Rodgers’s court appearance Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown. Rodgers was released pending his next court appearance, which has not yet been scheduled.
According to the complaint, Rodgers, who was also assigned to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) task force, recruited a cooperating source to assist in setting up transactions in which the source would sell contraband cigarettes to potential targets. The complaint states that Rodgers agreed to pay the source a fee for each transaction the source conducted. The complaint describes two such transactions between the source and targets, for which the source was provided a Village of Lyons check to pay for his services. The complaint alleges the source engaged in subsequent transactions and was paid in cash from money paid to the source during the transactions. The transactions between the source and Rodgers were reported by the source to the FBI last June.
At the direction of the FBI, the source recorded conversations and meetings with Rodgers in connection with another contraband cigarette transaction with a potential target. The complaint alleges that on July 30, the source received $11,280 from the target in exchange for 300 cartons of cigarettes and was told by Rodgers to keep $3,280 of that amount. The source was also given 30 cartons of cigarettes to pass to another source, who helped arrange the transaction with the target. In a recorded meeting a few days later, Rodgers allegedly acknowledged that he was not supposed to pay the source from the proceeds of the transactions and instructed the source to say that all payments to the source were by way of a check from the police department. An FBI agent subsequently reviewed the report of the July 30 transaction filed by Rodgers and noted that the report did not mention the seizure of cash from the target. LPD had no record of Rodgers turning in $8,000 from the transaction.
Mr. Shields expressed his gratitude for the substantial assistance provided by both the Lyons Police Department and the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations during the course of this investigation.
If convicted of the charge filed against him, Rodgers faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt and that defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.