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Thursday, August 19, 2010

NEWS: (Chicago) Police officer on trial for false arrest scheme

Chicago Sun-Times

Allegedly arrested woman, lied as part of plot to get woman deported

August 18, 2010

BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporter

A 49-year-old Polish immigrant man pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct Wednesday for scheming to frame his ex-wife on drug and gun charges and agreed to testify against a Chicago Police officer allegedly tied to the plot.

Bogdan Mazur said he was embroiled in an ugly divorce with Sylwia Marcinczyk in 2007 and believed by getting his then estranged wife in trouble, she “could go to jail” and “eventually could be deported.” That way he’d have custody of the couple’s two young children and wouldn’t have to share the proceeds of their home health care business, Mazur explained at the start of officer Slawomir Plewa’s bench trial at the Cook County criminal courthouse.

Both Mazur and Marcinczyk are living in the United States illegally.

Plewa, 31, is accused of falsely arresting Marcinczyk on April 1, 2007, and then lying on the witness stand during her trial in Skokie. He faces perjury, obstruction of justice and official misconduct charges.

Mazur said he first met Plewa through friends three years ago at the Grand Central District where Plewa was working in the narcotics and gang intelligence unit. During that meeting Plewa’s friend, Ricky Bullis, admitted he did most of the talking and told Plewa he knew a Crystal Lake woman involved with drugs. Plewa told the men he could only make arrests in Chicago unless it involved copious amounts of narcotics, Mazur said.

Bullis, who has been granted immunity from prosecution, testified that Plewa wasn’t told about the  .22-caliber pistol, cocaine and cannabis padded with oregano that Bullis placed in Marcinczyk’s white Toyota Highlander’s spare tire a few months later. Mazur said he paid Bullis $5,000 for his efforts and promised to make him a partner in his business if the plans went accordingly.

Once the illegal materials were planted, Plewa and Mazur met in a parking lot at Belmont and Central. Mazur said it was Plewa who suggested that he call his wife to tell her his car “broke down” to lure her before her arrest.

Mazur’s ex-wife spent nearly two weeks in jail following the arrest but was eventually found innocent of the drug and weapon charges, State’s Attorney Lynn McCarthy said. On the stand, Plewa lied about various circumstances involved in the case, including how he knew Mazur, McCarthy said.

Plewa, who has been stripped of his police powers, did “nothing wrong,” his attorney Dan Herbert contended, noting that the prosecutors’ case was “weak.”

The bench trial before Judge Michael Brown continues Thursday.

Mazur is expected to be sentenced on Sept. 17.

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