CHICAGO (AP) _ Three police officers were convicted Monday of robbing suspected drug dealers and a civilian was convicted of helping the officers set up the robberies.

Prosecutors said the four stole $23,000 in November and December 1996. The robberies actually were sting operations set up by agents posing as dealers and were recorded by the government.

All four defendants were convicted of conspiracy, attempted robbery, depriving individuals of their civil rights and illegal use of a firearm.

The officers were Gerald Meachum, 35; Tyrone Francies, 39; and Baxter Streets, 41. The civilian was Robert Meeks, 29, who also was convicted of distributing heroin.

Scott Frankel, Meachum's attorney, said there would be an appeal. The officers have been jailed without bond since their arrests last March.

Francies and Streets were acquitted of possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.

U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle Jr. scheduled sentencing for March 23.

``We're talking about extremely lengthy double-digit sentences,'' said Randall Samborn, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.

The three officers were indicted last March, three months after seven other officers were indicted on similar charges. They are scheduled for trial in March.