Gay Pair Blackmailed By Cook County Sheriff's Deputy

Wed. July 16, 2003 12:00 AM by 365gay.com

Chicago, IL - A Cook County Sheriff's deputy who found two men having sex in a suburban wooded area has been charged with blackmailing them.

The officer told the men he would not charge them if they painted his home and got him a "good deal" on a computer. Instead, they went to police.

In a sting operation officers nailed Ronnie Baffield, a 20-year veteran of the department as he returned to Bemis Woods in his unmarked police car on July 10 to pick up a laptop computer from one of the men.

Baffield, 48, was charged with bribery and official misconduct.

His lawyer Clarence Burch, called his client an "exemplary officer" and said he will be proven innocent.

Baffield once oversaw electronic monitoring for the sheriff's department. Since 1998, he has been assigned to a Drug Enforcement Administration task force as an undercover investigator, according to a spokesperson for the sheriff's office.

After he was charged Baffield was suspended from his $50,800-a-year job, and the department is moving to fire him, the spokesperson said.

After he discovered the men, Baffield allegedly jotted down their names, addresses and phone numbers in a notebook and wrote "homo'' next to the information. He told them he would be contacting them and let them go, prosecutors said.

He is accused called the home of one of the men, a computer worker using a DEA work telephone and left a message with the man's roommate saying "Officer Friendly'' called. The victim returned The Call and told him he would need more time to get him a computer. That is when he notified authorities.

The Cook County forest preserve police outfitted the man with a laptop computer to give Baffield. After his arrest, Baffield admitted he was "squeezing'' the victims, a prosecutor said.
A Cook County Sheriff's deputy who found two men having sex in a suburban wooded area has been charged with blackmailing them.

The officer told the men he would not charge them if they painted his home and got him a "good deal" on a computer. Instead, they went to police.

In a sting operation officers nailed Ronnie Baffield, a 20-year veteran of the department as he returned to Bemis Woods in his unmarked police car on July 10 to pick up a laptop computer from one of the men.

Baffield, 48, was charged with bribery and official misconduct.

His lawyer Clarence Burch, called his client an "exemplary officer" and said he will be proven innocent.

Baffield once oversaw electronic monitoring for the sheriff's department. Since 1998, he has been assigned to a Drug Enforcement Administration task force as an undercover investigator, according to a spokesperson for the sheriff's office.

After he was charged Baffield was suspended from his $50,800-a-year job, and the department is moving to fire him, the spokesperson said.

After he discovered the men, Baffield allegedly jotted down their names, addresses and phone numbers in a notebook and wrote "homo'' next to the information. He told them he would be contacting them and let them go, prosecutors said.

He is accused called the home of one of the men, a computer worker using a DEA work telephone and left a message with the man's roommate saying "Officer Friendly'' called. The victim returned the call and told him he would need more time to get him a computer. That is when he notified authorities.

The Cook County forest preserve police outfitted the man with a laptop computer to give Baffield. After his arrest, Baffield admitted he was "squeezing'' the victims, a prosecutor said.
A Cook County Sheriff's deputy who found two men having sex in a suburban wooded area has been charged with blackmailing them.

The officer told the men he would not charge them if they painted his home and got him a "good deal" on a computer. Instead, they went to police.

In a sting operation officers nailed Ronnie Baffield, a 20-year veteran of the department as he returned to Bemis Woods in his unmarked police car on July 10 to pick up a laptop computer from one of the men.

Baffield, 48, was charged with bribery and official misconduct.

His lawyer Clarence Burch, called his client an "exemplary officer" and said he will be proven innocent.

Baffield once oversaw electronic monitoring for the sheriff's department. Since 1998, he has been assigned to a Drug Enforcement Administration task force as an undercover investigator, according to a spokesperson for the sheriff's office.

After he was charged Baffield was suspended from his $50,800-a-year job, and the department is moving to fire him, the spokesperson said.

After he discovered the men, Baffield allegedly jotted down their names, addresses and phone numbers in a notebook and wrote "homo'' next to the information. He told them he would be contacting them and let them go, prosecutors said.

He is accused of calling the home of one of the men, a computer worker, using a DEA work telephone and leaving a message with the man's roommate saying "Officer Friendly'' called. The victim returned the call and told him he would need more time to get him a computer. That is when he notified authorities.

The Cook County forest preserve police outfitted the man with a laptop computer to give Baffield. After his arrest, Baffield admitted he was "squeezing'' the victims, a prosecutor said.

by Steph Smith
365Gay.com Newscenter
Chicago Bureau
©365Gay.com® 2003

This article originally appeared on 365gay.com. Republished with permission.

 

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