Crooked Chicago police officer gets 18 years in prison - KMSP-TV

Crooked Chicago police officer gets 18 years in prison

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A crooked Chicago cop who joined forces with drug dealers was sentenced to 18 years behind bars Monday.

Perhaps relieved that he'd dodged a potential life sentence, Glenn Lewellen, 57, smiled and gave relatives a thumbs-up gesture after he was handed the prison term by Judge Joan Gottschall in federal court, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Convicted last year of a drug conspiracy, he helped drug dealer Saul Rodriguez and his crew avoid capture for years, tipping them off about a federal wiretap and warning them of police activity. He allegedly even helped them kidnap rivals, steal 250 kilos of cocaine and $3 million, authorities said.

Addressing the court, Lewellen said he knew he had "a debt that I have to pay to society" but did not address any of the allegations against him, which he continues to deny even after his conviction.

He instead spoke at length about his religious conversion since he realized the feds were onto him in 2008.

Saying he'd been "saved and baptized" and attributing his mistakes in life to his parents' alcoholism, he asked the judge for mercy.

"I'm not the same person I was in 2008," he said. "I believe I have a lot to offer."

Prosecutor Steven Block had urged a sentence of 30 years, saying Lewellen "still has not taken responsibility" for his crimes.

"He is a dirty cop who covered up what he did by holding himself up to his family, his employers and the city as a whole as a law-abiding officer," Block said, adding that Lewellen acted out of "pure greed."

Defense attorney Andrea Gambino asked Gottschall to give Lewellen the minimum mandatory sentence -- 10 years.

But Gottschall said that wasn't in the public interest, but added she didn't want to impose a life sentence.

She said she believed Lewellen's religious conversion made him a "new person" and that he should be allowed to live in hope of being reunited with his family.

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