Police in Illinois have reported that the treasurer of a village in Cook County was taken into custody following a routine traffic stop during the evening hours of Jan. 3. The man was charged with drug possession after police say they discovered bags of heroin in his vehicle, and he was subsequently transported to a detention facility. He was released on Jan. 5 after posting a bond of $10,000.
According to a Steger Police Department report, the traffic stop occurred at about 9:40 p.m. after officers noticed that the light over the vehicle's rear license plate was not functioning. The police officers who pulled the vehicle over said that their suspicions were aroused by the man's nervous demeanor and the contradictory answers he gave to them when asked if he had anything illegal in his vehicle. They claim that the man first answered no to this question before changing his story and admitting that he was carrying two bags of heroin.
The investigation took another turn when the man's office was visited by law enforcement. An audit is said to have revealed that funds belonging to the local police department's retirement fund had been used by the man for his own personal purposes between April 2015 and November 2015. The man is said to have admitted to taking the money, and the case has since been handed over to the FBI, the FDIC and the U.S. Attorney's Office. The man has been suspended from his position pending the results of the investigation.
Criminal defense attorneys will often tell their clients to not make any statements to law enforcement personnel without a lawyer being present. Penalties for drug charges can be severe, but prosecutors must first prove their cases beyond any reasonable doubt.