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4 officers in Chicago's gang and drug unit are charged in felony corruption investigation

Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO- Four Chicago police officers accused of using their badges to intimidate their way into homes have been arrested and charged with felonies including armed violence, home invasion and kidnapping, officials announced Thursday.

Cook County State's Attorney Dick Devine declined to give more details about the accusations against the officers, saying that information would be released once the men make their initial court appearances Friday afternoon.

"I think you can see by the nature of the charges, home invasion and kidnapping charges, gives some sense of what we're talking about," Devine said.

The officers are part of the department's Special Operations Section, which focuses on gang and drug crimes, Devine said. They are accused of using their police badges to intimidate people and gain access to their homes, he said.

Chicago Police Superintendent Phil Cline said the officers will be suspended without pay and the department will move to fire them.

Officials identified those charged as Chicago residents Jerome Finnigan, 43; Keith Herrera, 28; Thomas Sherry, 32; and Carl Suchocki, 32. If convicted, each officer could face up to 30 years in prison.

Finnigan received an Award of Valor in 1999 for his work in special operations.

All four officers had unlisted phone numbers and could not be reached.

The police officers' union, the Fraternal Order of Police, did not immediately return a call seeking information on any attorneys that are representing the officers.

John Gorman, a spokesman for the state attorney's office, said he would not know who the officers' attorneys are until the defendants' first court appearances Friday.

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