The FBI has finally caught a Chicago man who was on the run for more than 14 years after posing as federal officer to steal from local drug dealers. The kicker: he used to be a cop.
Now 68 years old, Eddie C. Hicks had a scheme with other rogue officers where they would steal drugs from one drug deal just to resell them to another.
They were caught when one of their dealer informants was caught by police in 2000 and revealed the police-as-drug-robbers scheme. The FBI then set up a fake drug house that the rogue officers robbed.
Hicks and his crew were caught in 2003. Hicks was charged with RICO conspiracy (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act), narcotics conspiracy, extortion conspiracy, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a narcotics conspiracy, and theft of government funds.
While three of Hicks’s accomplices soon pleaded guilty, Hicks had other plans. Rather than stand trial for his crimes, Hicks decided to run.
He was scheduled to appear for trial on June 9, 2003, but failed to appear. A bench warrant for his arrest was issued the same day but Hicks managed to evade capture until this week. Authorities believed he fled the country to Brazil.
Federal agents from the Chicago and Detroit field offices cooperated in the investigation, finally capturing Hicks in the 8900 block of South Chappel Avenue in Detroit without incident on Sept 19. An Illinois U.S. attorney also pitched in on the investigation.
“Hicks had been the subject of an international manhunt coordinated by FBI Chicago since June 2003,” reads a statement from the FBI on the arrest.
Hicks appeared before Executive Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen in the United States District Court of Eastern Michigan on Sept. 19 and was ordered to be held pending his next court appearance in Chicago.
Hicks was a police officer for 30 years before running afoul of the law. During the alleged conspiracy to steal drugs and money, Hicks and his crew posed as Drug Enforcement Administration task force officers.
The robbers would prepare false search warrants to gain entry to stash houses of known drug dealers, according to the FBI. Then they would confiscate drugs, money, and other valuables, and take the drugs to another dealer to be sold.
“The profits were split among the individuals involved in the scheme. Hicks is the only member of the group that has yet to stand trial for these charges,” said the FBI.
A Chicago Tribune investigation found that while Hicks was on the run, he managed to sign documents giving his son a piece of property. Monthly police pension checks totaling more than $300,000 had been paid to his bank account or cashed by his wife.
Hicks was arrested by the FBI Detroit Violent Crime Task Force, which includes FBI agents and members of several metropolitan Detroit law enforcement agencies.