A former Chicago police Sgt. Eddie C. Hicks was finally arrested in Detroit this past Tuesday morning, 15 years after fleeing on the eve of trial on federal drug conspiracy charges. Hicks, 68, has been the focus of a manhunt dating back to 2003 according to the FBI.
Hicks was a 29-year veteran of the police force charged in Chicago, 2001, with running a crew of rogue officers who robbed drug dealers, pocketing the illicit cash and selling stolen drugs to other pushers. After Hicks fled the country. He was presumed to have traveled to Brazil.
According to a Tribune investigation later, it was found that Hicks repeatedly conducted financial transitions in Chicago to further himself and those closest to him. Two years after Hicks vanished, his signature magically appeared on land records which he gave to his son – who was also a Chicago police officer – the South Side property Hicks had used to secure his $150,000 bond. It was also found that by 2011, Hick’s wife had cashed more than $300,000 in monthly police pension checks. Yikes.
Hicks was a longtime Narcotics officer who retired from the Chicago PD while under federal investigation in March 2000. Up until that point, Hicks had a successful career, with personal friendships with top commandders, earning comfortable assignments like providing security at Bulls games.
Arthur Veal, a major cocaine dealer, had been tipping Hicks and his crew – along with another sergeant and two former police civilian employees – two targets to rob. But in 2000, Veal was outted and told authorities his history with the officers.
The FBI set up South Side apartments to appear as drug houses, equipping them with hidden audio as well as video equipment.
Veal then tipped Hicks off regarding the location, the charges alleged and the two police civilian employees were then captured on video breaking into both apartments and escaping with a combined $13,000 in cash. Authorities charged Hicks was outside proving surveilling and communication via cellphone with those inside.
By the time Hicks’ trial was scheduled to begin in June 2003, three of his four co-defendants had pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme. Hicks who had been out on bail did not show for his trial’s opening day. Hicks appeared in federal court in Detroit on Tuesday and was ordered held until he can be brought to face charges in Chicago.