On November 12, 2010, police officers Matthew Hudak and Terrance O’Brien went to a home in Schaumburg, Illinois where 26-year-old Victor Alvarado lived with two other men. Alvarado was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine after the officers said Alvarado showed them where cocaine was hidden in the garage.
In January 2012, a hearing was held on a motion filed by Alvarado’s attorney to suppress the evidence. Alvarado denied that he led the officers to the cocaine and claimed Hudak, an officer on the Schaumburg police force, had handcuffed him in the garage and falsely claimed he found the drugs there. Hudak testified that Alvarado showed him where the cocaine was hidden and Alvarado’s motion was denied.
On June 4, 2012, Alvarado, fearing a lengthy prison term if he went to trial and was convicted, pled guilty and was sentenced to six years in prison.
In January 2013, Hudak, O’Brien and another Schaumburg police officer, John Cichy, were indicted on corruption charges alleging they stole drugs and money from drug dealers and then funneled the drugs back onto the street. The investigation of the officers began after nine ounces of cocaine were found in a storage shed in Carol Stream, Illinois. The investigation led to an informant who told authorities he was selling cocaine that the officers had supplied to him. All three officers immediately resigned.
Hudak pled guilty and was sentenced to 26 years in prison. O'Brien pled guilty and was sentenced to 24 years in prison. Cichy was still awaiting trial in May 2016.
Alvarado filed a motion seeking to vacate his conviction based on the allegations against Hudak and O’Brien and on April 15, 2013, a Cook County Circuit Court Judge vacated the conviction. On May 1, 2013, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office dismissed the case and Alvarado was released.
In 2014, Alvarado filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the officers and the city of Schaumburg. The lawsuit was settled in 2016 for $90,000.
– Maurice Possley