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Ex-Chicago Cop Sentenced to 4 Years

June 22, 1999

CHICAGO (AP) _ The last of seven former police officers charged with taking payoffs from drug dealers was sentenced Tuesday to nearly four years in prison.

Vincent Taran Hunter, who worked for the suburban Ford Heights force, pleaded guilty to racketeering. He is to begin his sentence in August.

The officers, comprising most of the Ford Heights force, were arrested in 1996 on charges of taking cash in exchange for ignoring drug dealing. The six other defendants have been sentenced, most to longer prison terms.

Hunter acknowledged that he had taken two payoffs from FBI cooperating witnesses who taped the deals. One posed as a drug dealer, and Hunter agreed to protect his operations. The other was charged with battery, and Hunter promised to arrange for the dismissal of the charge.

In addition, Hunter said that he took periodic payments from a real drug dealer and accepted $3,000 in exchange for allowing an inmate to leave his cell temporarily.

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