Cops Charged With Stealing What They Thought Was Drug Money

CHICAGO (CBS) — Federal authorities have arrested a Chicago Police sergeant and patrol officer and charged them with stealing $5,200 in what they thought was illicit drug money.

Sgt. Ronald Watts and Officer Kallatt Mohammed, both of the Wentworth District Tactical Unit, are each charged with one count of theft of government funds in a federal criminal complaint.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Julie Mann reports

Watts is 48 and an 18-year Chicago Police veteran, while Mohammed, 47, joined the force 14 years ago. They were both released on unsecured bonds of $10,000 after appearing Monday morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez.

On Nov. 21 of last year, a cooperating witness who was actually an FBI informant claimed to be a drug money courier. The officers took the money from the informant, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Agents conducting video surveillance found recorded the theft, in which Mohammed drove his personal car up to the informant in the 2700 block of South Vernon Avenue, and took a bag with $5,200, prosecutors said. The officers then paid the informant $400 for allowing them to steal the drug proceeds, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

Prosecutors claim that the informant had had earlier dealings with Watts, including an occasion when Watts told the informant to alert him or Mohammed whenever a drug money transport was in progress.

The informant allegedly called Watts on Nov. 18. In a conversation that was wiretapped, the informant planned to pick up a bag of purported drug money from the car near 26th Street and King Drive, and walk it to another car on 29th Street. Watts allegedly arranged for Mohammed to intercept the money.

After Mohammed too the bag and didn’t give the informant any money in return, the informant called Watts and discussed getting a cut, prosecutors said. Soon afterward, Watts and Mohammed met in near 58th Street and Princeton Avenue, as federal agents found the bag that the informant had given Mohammed empty a few blocks away.

The informant called Watts a short time afterward, and met the sergeant at Cermak Road and Canal Street, prosecutors said. When Watts handed over $400, he allegedly said, “Who always takes care of you?”

The money was not really drug money, but actually federal government money, prosecutors said.

If convicted, Watts and Mohammed could face up to 10 years in prison and fines of $250,000.

  • Allen

    I believe that a suspension and probation would be sufficient in this case. It wasn’t a citizen’s money, it was a criminal’s money. I’ll have to support the officers here.

    • tom sharp

      How naive can you be??!! Corrupt cops like this are pure poison. This little caper is just that–the tip of the iceberg concerning corrupt cops. Here’s a news flash for you: THIS ISN’T THEIR FIRST CRIME!!! Grow up!


        Well i say they got just what they deserved. Y throw a 70,000 dollar a year job away for a measley 5grand. It’s a know brainer and i can careless what u think. It’s plain old greed and chi-city police corruption that make residents think twice about putting their care lives n the care of the police when needed. My brother who is on the force said it’s tempting but you have to think twice and ask urself is it really,really worth your career? You have to think about everyone it may affect. Fiance,wife,newborn,child or your freedom?

    • l

      It’s obvious that you are a cop, family member of the cops, or a drug dealer.
      The dirty cops should be fired, sent to prison, and suffer the conseqiences just like everybody else for such crime. This is one of the main reasons there is so much crime in Chicago; BECAUSE OF DIRTY COPS!

    • Sue

      Are you insane? These are POLICE officers who are paid to uphold our laws.
      It matters not where the money came from, it’s the fact that they felt they had a right to take it for themselves.
      Throw the book at them just like any other criminal.

    • Just thingking

      Your defense of officers being criminals is that so long as it is against other criminals then it is okay? or at least worth supporting..

      So, if I feel something a business did was a crime, it should be okay for criminal behavior to be used in return right.
      Cool, lets go burn us some oil rigs.

    • Ian

      It was NOT criminals’ money, can you not read? In any case, it would stil be stealing!

  • Chivi

    The short arm of the law certainly takes its time when catching cops or City workers breaking the law. How can Chicago clean up it’s mess when it hires criminals, gives them badges and guns??? Stay tuned….many more to be caught.

  • Just the Average Joe

    Look at the bright side, these two crooked cops will be released, fired, and their pensions and health care will be cut short. Saves the taxpayers millions. Provides openings for new cops to be hired.

    • Judge Roy Bean

      WWWWHHHAATTT..!!…A Chicago cop on the take, I think they are cutting the judges short now…..
      Law West of the Peco’s

  • Hamburglar

    Hope it was worth it guys.

  • George

    What I want to know is what university or college did the writer or editor of this story go to? Did anyone pick up on all the eight grade spelling and grammar errors?

    • Bernsteiins Bachman Vote

      Eight grade spelling errors huh. Certainly no worse than you not knowing how to spell Eighth.

    • l

      Shut up

      • Hoth Industries

        Keepin’ it classy, l, keepin’ it classy.

  • The real James Hamilton
  • Lyndia

    They should be kicked off the department, tried and jailed.

  • Gary McMillion

    The Bible states that “He who is without sin cast the first stone,” and we are not to judge. It also states that we should walk in integrity, which these two officers have not done. This is another example of the rampant greed that is tearing our country apart. It permeates itself from our political leaders down to our working class and even in our poor. The sense of doing what is right for the good of all has died in this country and been replaced with a sense of I will do anything it takes to “get mine.” It does not matter who will be hurt or how many individuals I have to step on, just as long as I get mine. This attitude is reflected daily in all aspects of life in our nation, from our music videos to our corporate board rooms. I pray that God will show allow us to see the error of our ways before we destroy this great country He has blessed us with.

  • Big BO BO

    NYUK NYUK NYUK perfect response for these clowns

  • Evelyn

    The families of the cops will be the victims when all is said and done.

  • FBI sting nabs Chicago cops

    […] in a conversation that was wiretapped, the informant told Watts where he could come pick it up, CBS2 in Chicago reported. Watts allegedly then arranged for Mohammed to intercept the money, reported CBS2.When […]

  • not from south of I80-

    Evelyn, the family is going to leave a very nice home and head out to their expensive marina club in their very nice automobile and go on their yacht and take cruise. The family will be fine. They were doing good when the dirty money was flowing. How the heck are they victims? THE REAL VICTIMS ARE US TAX PAYERS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

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