LYONS – An officer with the Lyons Police Department has been charged with robbing and extorting targets of his investigations into the sale of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes, the FBI's Chicago Office announced Monday.
Jimmy J. Rodgers, 43, was charged in a one-count criminal complaint filed last Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago with Hobbs Act robbery, a felony, according to a news release.
The complaint against Rodgers was unsealed Friday after he appeared in court. Rodgers was released pending his next court appearance, which is not yet scheduled.
Rodgers is accused of recruiting a cooperating source to help set up sales where the source would sell contraband cigarettes to potential targets. According to the criminal complaint, Rodgers would pay the source a fee for each transaction the source conducted. The complaint detailed two transactions between the source and targets, for which the source was provided a village of Lyons check to pay for his services. The complaint further alleges the source was later paid in cash following subsequent transactions from money paid to the source during the transactions, the source told the FBI in June.
According to the release, the source agreed to record conversations and meetings with Rodgers in connection with another contraband cigarette transaction with a potential target. On July 30, the source received $11,280 from the target in exchange for 300 cartons of cigarettes and was told by Rodgers to keep $3,280 of that amount.
The source was also given 30 cartons of cigarettes to pass to another source, which help arrange the transaction with the target.
According to the release, Rodgers was recorded allegedly acknowledging that he was not supposed to pay the source from the proceeds of the transactions and told the source to say all payments were given via check from the police department.
An FBI agent reviewed the report of the July 30 transaction filed by Rodgers and noted that the report did not mention the seizure of cash from the target. The Lyons Police Department also had no record of Rodgers turning in $8,000 from the transaction.
Robert J. Shields, Jr., acting special agent in charge of the Chicago Office of the FBI, thanked the assistance provided by the Lyons Police Department and the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations during the course of the investigation.
If convicted, Rodgers could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal.