HAMMOND | Two Chicago police officers accused of committing armed robberies at the will of alleged Latin King members were ordered held without bond Monday.
Alex Guerrero, 41, and Antonio C. Martinez Jr., 40, were the ones in handcuffs Monday afternoon, appearing before a federal judge in orange Porter County jumpsuits. The duo were named in a 46-page indictment unsealed Friday that alleges a racketeering conspiracy among fifteen Latin King gang members or associates.
Guerrero's attorney, Kevin Milner, fought for his client to be on home detention. He said his client's parents offered to put up their $175,000 Chicago home for their son's pretrial release.
"For Mr. Guerrero to violate his bond, his parents would be on the street homeless," Milner said. "I've known Mr. Guerrero for 15 years. He would rather slit his wrists than do that to his parents."
Milner claimed there was no evidence against Guerrero, and that the father of six had no criminal record.
According to the indictment, Guerrero and Martinez Jr. committed armed robberies of drug dealers in Illinois and Indiana while in uniform and under the guise of performing legitimate police operations. They allegedly turned over the drugs and money to the Latin Kings in exchange for about $10,000 in kickbacks.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Nozick argued that Guerrero and Martinez were dangers to the community after using Chicago police vehicles, service weapons and uniforms to rob people at gunpoint. Nozick also said Guerrero was a flight risk because his wife has family in Mexico and he faces up to life in prison.
Magistrate Judge Andrew Rodovich ordered Guerrero held without bond. Milner said they were disappointed with the decision, and that his client would be sitting in jail for at least a year pending trial for a crime he did not commit.
"I don't know who will give him that year back," Milner said.
Martinez Jr. did not contest being held pending trial.