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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Former Chicago Police Dispatch Supervisor Pleads Guilty to Federal Extortion Charge in Connection with Scheme to Smuggle Contraband into Cook County Jail

CHICAGO — A former dispatch supervisor for the Chicago Police Department admitted in federal court today that she provided private government information to her boyfriend in an effort to help smuggle contraband into Cook County Jail.

STEPHANIE LEWIS used her position in the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications to access law enforcement databases to locate the personal information of a corrections officer at the jail, according to a written plea agreement. Lewis provided the information to her boyfriend, an inmate in the jail who had schemed with the officer and others to smuggle in the contraband to sell to other inmates. Lewis admitted in the plea agreement that she knew her boyfriend and the others used the information to threaten the officer with physical harm unless he continued with the scheme and smuggled additional contraband into the jail.

Lewis, 42, of Chicago, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit extortion. The conviction carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Charles R. Norgle set sentencing for April 26, 2017, at 11:30 a.m.

The guilty plea was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart; and Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Lewis’ guilty plea brings to five the number of defendants convicted in the case. The prior convictions include the corrections officer, JASON MAREK, who admitted delivering contraband, including marijuana, tobacco and alcohol, to a jail inmate after tucking it into sandwiches and sneaking it past security. Marek was assigned to a maximum-security tier of the jail when he smuggled in the goods in May and June 2013.

Lewis’ boyfriend, PRINCE JOHNSON, of Chicago, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges and is awaiting trial.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Cunniff Church.

Topic: 
Public Corruption
Updated January 18, 2017