Ex-Chicago policeman admitted stealing for gang, now wants guilty plea tossed
BY TERESA AUCH SCHULTZ firstname.lastname@example.org January 13, 2014 4:34PM
Updated: February 15, 2014 6:24AM
A former Chicago police officer who admitted in court to using his badge to help rob for the Latin Kings street gang now says he’s innocent and wants his 19-year prison sentence dropped.
Alexander Guerrero, 43, filed a motion Friday in U.S. District Court in Hammond, seeking to vacate his guilty plea. That motion makes several claims, including that he got bad advice from his attorney and that the government’s evidence against him can be explained.
The motion says his attorney, Kevin Milner, at first told him he had not committed a crime and that there was no connection to the case other than through his partner, Antonio C. Martinez, who also pleaded guilty. Then Milner told him that the government had evidence against him, including a gun and phone calls he made to Mexico. However, he says in the motion that the gun was the one issued to him by the Chicago Police Department and that the calls to Mexico were his wife calling her family.
He also cites federal attorneys involved in the case, claiming they withheld evidence that could have exonerated him.
He says the police union also abandoned him by tricking him into signing a form that he thought would help him get representation but were actually dismissal papers. He also goes after the media, saying news stories about the case made him look guilty.
Guerrero pleaded guilty in 2012 to one count each of conspiracy to racketeer, conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana, interference with commerce with threats or violence and using a gun in a violent or drug trafficking crime. He was sentenced in January 2013 to 19 years in prison.
During his plea hearing, he specifically admitted to robbing James Walsh, the leader of a rival street gang, just two months before members of the Latin Kings would gun him down in Griffith.
“My partner and I with our police uniforms went into his property,” Guerrero said at the hearing.
He also admitted to pulling over people or entering homes by using his police badge, police-issued gun, vest and police car in order to steal drugs, guns and money from the victims. He admitted that he was on the clock during some of these robberies. Guerrero and Martinez would then turn over the stolen goods to the Latin Kings.
Federal attorneys did say during his sentencing that it appeared Martinez was the instigator and the one connected to the Latin Kings but that Guerrero did take part. Martinez, who pleaded guilty before Guerrero did and provided help to federal attorneys earlier, was sentenced to just 12 years in prison. Guerrero is being held at the Federal Correctional Institute in Allenwood, Penn., a low-security penal institution.