By MIKE ROBINSON
Associated Press Writer
CHICAGO -- Two police officers were charged Wednesday with conspiring with a drug dealer to steal $31,100 that authorities said the officers mistakenly believed belonged to another dealer.
Officers Richard Doroniuk, 30, and Mahmoud "Mike" Shamah, 27, were arrested without incident at their homes early Wednesday, according to a release from the U.S. attorney's office. They went before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nan R. Nolan, who set a bond hearing for Tuesday.
Doroniuk attorney Robert Clarke said the officer "is going to get his full day in court and that's what he wants." Shamah attorney Anthony Pinelli declined to comment, saying he was still studying the case.
Prosecutors said the money had been planted in self-storage lockers as part of a sting by FBI agents and Chicago police internal affairs investigators. The officers used information from a third defendant, Larry "Peanut" Cross, 55, to obtain search warrants for the lockers, according to the news release.
The officers failed to report any of the money seized from a locker in June and only part of the cash taken in a second theft in August, according to documents filed with the criminal complaint.
They took the money believing they were ripping off a drug dealer, prosecutors said.
The complaint charges the three men with conspiracy to steal government funds.
"Today's arrests result from the department's ongoing commitment to remove bad cops from the streets," Police Superintendent Phil Cline said in a news release.
Doroniuk has been a police officer since January 2000, Shamah since August 2001, prosecutors said.