CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - A former Chicago police sergeant who had been a fugitive for 14 years is now standing trial on corruption and drug charges.
Federal prosecutors say throughout the 1990's, Eddie Hicks used his police powers to rob drug dealers.
Hicks – who is now 70 years old – was in his mid-40's when federal prosecutors say he and three other members of the Chicago Police Department ran an illegal operation to shake down drug dealers.
Hicks was supposed to stand trial in 2003, but vanished the night before the trial was supposed to start, leading police on an international manhunt that spanned from Brazil to Texas, and eventually to Detroit, where he was arrested in 2017 after living under a false name.
Back in the 1990s, the feds say drug dealers would tip off Hicks and his team so they could raid locations for cash and narcotics. He and his crew would then pocket the cash and steal the drugs to resell, according to prosecutors.
On Tuesday, a convicted member of the crew – Larry Knitter – testified against Hicks. Knitter's already done his time, having served almost 10 years in prison for his role in the operation. He was a CPD car mechanic that allowed them to drive the unmarked squad cars used in the illegal shakedowns.
Hicks faces a series of corruption charges including racketeering. The feds describe him as the ringleader of the whole operation.
Another disturbing aspect of this case was that Hicks's wife was apparently still able to collect his police pension, even while he was a fugitive.
The trial kicked off on Monday, and it's expected to last less than a week.