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Chicago cop charged with tampering with a federal drug probe

(FILE)

A Chicago Police officer is charged with impeding a narcotics investigation by warning a longtime acquaintance about a raid on targeted homes on the West Side, according to a federal indictment made public Tuesday.

Officer Ronald Coleman was released on a $4,500 recognizance bond in U.S. District Court, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Coleman was assigned to work with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in 2013 and 2014.

On June 5, 2014, he conducted surveillance of an acquaintance meeting with a heroin supplier at a home in the 1600-block of South Trumbull in the North Lawndale neighborhood, according to the indictment, which didn't name the acquaintance or the heroin supplier.

Later, Coleman warned his acquaintance to "stop engaging in illegal activity" and that "the police would be searching houses," the indictment said. On June 12, 2014, Chicago Police officers and DEA agents executed eight search warrants of drug dealers' homes and their "stash houses," authorities said in a statement released at the time.

The statement said 27 people were charged in the investigation into drug trafficking by the 12th Street faction of the Traveling Vice Lords street gang. Eight handguns, an AR-15 assault rifle, about $140,000, nearly half a kilogram of heroin, and cocaine were recovered in the searches.

Kenneth Shoulders, who allegedly controlled the Vice Lords' drug operations around California Avenue and Roosevelt Road, has pleaded guilty to a federal heroin trafficking charge and is awaiting sentencing, court records show.

The Chicago Police Department released a statement on Tuesday:

"The allegations against the officer are extremely serious and if proven, are an egregious violation of the trust we place in our police officers. We will cooperate fully with our federal partners in this case and the officer has been placed on administrative duties pending the court's actions."

WLS-TV contributed to this reporting.
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