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Deputy Commits Suicide After Arrest For Robbing Drug Dealers

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Cook County Sheriff's police officer committed suicide at the federal jail in downtown Chicago on Tuesday, a day after he and his partner were arrested on allegations of conspiring to rip off drug dealers.

The officer who died was not identified in court papers provided by the FBI, but Sheriff's Department officials confirmed Officer Stanley Kogut died at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, apparently by hanging himself with a bedsheet in his cell.

"He was a member of our department since 1997, and certainly this is a tragedy on multiple levels," Cook County Jail executive director Cara Smith said.


Smith said she could not comment on Kogut's state of mind, or why he ended up dead less than 24 hours after being admitted to the MCC.

"He was arrested yesterday, and this happened overnight, so I am not at all able to comment on his state of mind," she said.

Kogut was arrested as part of an FBI sting in Bedford Park. Federal prosecutors allege Kogut and his partner, Robert Vaughan, were arrested after approaching an undercover FBI agent posing as a drug dealer, and robbing him of 70 pounds of marijuana.

Vaughan has been charged with one felony count of conspiracy to commit robbery.

Vaughan was scheduled for a detention hearing on Wednesday.

He and Kogut were assigned to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area team; a task force of federal, state, and local law enforcement officials targeting drug dealers.

Federal prosecutors allege Vaughan, Kogut, and a former Lyons police officer conspired to use their positions as police officers to rob people of marijuana, contraband cigarettes, and money.

The third officer was not identified in the charges, but the Sun-Times reports he is 44-year-old Jimmy Rodgers, who pleaded guilty to extortion earlier this year.

Rodgers was assigned to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration task force investigating illegal cigarette sales, and admitted using his position to arrange for confidential sources to set up sales of contraband cigarettes to targets of the investigation. He then detained and handcuffed suspects, but kept their contraband cigarettes and cash for himself.

When the FBI got word of what Rodgers was doing, agents wired up an informant, who got Rodgers on tape. In his plea agreement, Rodgers admitted stealing $37,000 in cash and hundreds of cartons of cigarettes.

Rodgers lost his job after his arrest.

In addition to his 5-year prison sentence, Rodgers was ordered to pay a $49,000 fine.

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