(SUN TIMES MEDIA WIRE) - A former Melrose Park police detective has admitted he stole and tried to sell drugs from the suburban department’s evidence room, making his admission two years after he was nabbed in an FBI sting, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
Gregory Salvi, 43, has recently been selling cars for a living. But Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to possession of more than 500 grams of cocaine with intent to distribute, and carrying a Glock .45 caliber handgun while doing so. Now, Salvi faces at least 10 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve is scheduled to hand down his sentence July 26.
St. Eve agreed to let Salvi remain free on home detention until he is sentenced. Salvi’s attorney, Mark Sutter, has said Salvi has affairs to wrap up before he reports to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Sutter also said his client has been a “model defendant” since he was first arrested in Hanover Park in April 2015.
The feds nabbed Salvi amid a plot to deliver 5 kilograms of cocaine to an informant in exchange for a few thousand dollars as Salvi was rapidly approaching retirement.
“I’m trying to make whatever I can,” Salvi allegedly told the informant weeks before the bust.
Two government informants wore wires while discussing drug and weapon deals with Salvi, according to a 76-page affidavit filed at the time of Salvi’s arrest. The FBI said it has video and audio recordings of the former officer.
Salvi gave one federal informant less than an ounce of heroin on Nov. 30, 2014, which he stole from his police department’s evidence room, receiving $500 in return, according to the document.
Then, on Dec. 13, 2014, Salvi gave the informant about 3.5 grams of cocaine that he swiped from evidence, the affidavit alleged.
The feds accused Salvi of plotting to steal 2 kilograms of cocaine that the police department sent to the Illinois State Police crime lab for testing. He allegedly planned to pick up the drugs at the lab after they were tested and swap them with fake drugs.
He also schemed to steal a crate of more than 30 guns from the Melrose Park Police Department evidence room and sell them to one of the informants, the FBI said.
“The pistols, as soon as the chief gives us OK to destroy ‘em, then I can get ‘em,” Salvi allegedly told an informant on Feb. 25, 2015.
He told the informant that serial numbers on the guns would need to be scraped off. He didn’t want the guns traced back to the police department if they were later used in a murder, according to the FBI affidavit.
Salvi’s arrest followed a meeting with an informant and an undercover agent at a storage facility in Hanover Park. He was wearing his badge on his belt and his gun in a holster, the FBI said.
Cops swarmed Salvi after he placed a bag filled with 5 kilos of fake cocaine on the passenger seat of the SUV he was driving. He allegedly planned to deliver the drugs to an informant at a condo in the South Loop in exchange for a few thousand dollars, according to the FBI.
In a March 24, 2015, conversation with the informant about the shipment, Salvi allegedly said, “Listen dude, I got f—— three months left in the police department. Okay? I’m trying to make whatever I can.”
After he was arrested, Salvi allegedly confessed to delivering the drugs to the informant late in 2014.
He also admitted taking a kilogram of cocaine from the State Police crime lab in May 2014 and swapping it with fake cocaine. But he placed the real cocaine back into evidence when his potential buyer didn’t want it, according to the FBI.