A Chicago police sergeant and a patrol officer are facing federal theft charges for allegedly stealing over $5,000 in undercover government funds from an FBI sting operation.
Sgt. Ronald Watts, 48, and officer Kallatt Mohammed, 47, allegedly took money from a cooperating FBI witness who told them he was transporting drug proceeds for narcotics traffickers, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice. Agents conducting surveillance related to the undercover operation recorded Watts and Mohammed take a bag containing $5,200 from the witness, later paying him $400 for allowing them to intercept the money, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Monday. Watts and Mohammed have each been charged with one count of theft of government funds.
The same cooperating witness testified that Watts had previously requested to be alerted to impending drug-related cash transactions, according to the release. Calls recorded between Watts and Mohammed after Watts contacted the witness reportedly discussed intercepting the money, and indicated that similar exchanges had happened before.
"Who always takes care of you?" Watts allegedly said to the cooperating witness after handing over $400, according to the affidavit. Additional calls were observed between Watts and Mohammed following this exchange, according to the release.
Watts, an 18-year veteran of the force, and Mohammed, who's been with CPD for nearly 15 years, were released on $10,000 unsecured bonds, according to the release. The charges against them carry maximum penalties of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.