CHICAGO (CN) - A former Chicago police officer was charged Monday with trying to extort money from a towing business and knowingly selling firearms to a felon.
Ali Haleem, 45, is the 11th officer charged in a continuing federal investigation of Chicago police, called Operation Tow Scam.
Haleem worked for the Chicago Police Department from 1994 to 2012. He became a snitch for the feds after they confronted him with his attempted extortion, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
Haleem was assigned to the 8th District, known as Chicago Lawn, on the Southwest Side. The area has a large Palestinian community, and Haleem called himself the "Mayor of 63rd Street," according to the Sun Times.
The federal information charges Haleem with attempting to extort the owner of a towing business, but does not include details of the scheme.
It also charges Haleem with selling three semi-automatic pistols to the same business owner, knowing that he was a convicted felon.
But the buyer was working with law enforcement.
Haleem, confronted with his attempted extortion in 2008, he agreed to work as a snitch, according to the Sun Times. He allegedly wore a wire a wire and collected evidence that prosecutors used to charge nine people with corruption, including Illinois state Sen. Rickey Hendon's former campaign treasurer.
If convicted, Haleem faces up to 20 years in prison for attempted extortion and 10 years in prison for each sale of a firearm to a felon. He can expect his sentence to be mitigated by his cooperation.
Seven officers and three civilians, including two tow truck drivers, have been convicted in Operation Two Scam, and charges are pending against three other officers, prosecutors said.
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