A Chicago police sergeant and an officer on his gang team "used their police powers to lie, cheat and steal" by obtaining bogus search warrants to routinely rob drug dealers of cash and narcotics, federal prosecutors said as the officers' federal corruption trial got underway in earnest Tuesday.
Sgt. Xavier Elizondo and Officer David Salgado have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges alleging they paid off informants to lie in so-called John Doe affidavits to win a judge's approval for a search warrant. Elizondo is also charged with attempting to destroy evidence, while Salgado faces one count of lying to the FBI.
In his opening remarks to the jury, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Franzblau said Elizondo and Salgado are "corrupt police officers who betrayed their badges" and tried to cover their tracks when the FBI caught up to them.
After becoming suspicious that they were being watched, Elizondo was captured on a wiretapped phone call telling Salgado to get rid of stolen drug money that had actually been planted by the FBI, Franzblau said.
"Just make sure whatever you have in your house isn't there no more, you know what I mean?" Elizondo allegedly said in the January 2018 call, according to Franzblau.