Convictions were overturned Monday for 18 men that an Illinois district attorney said were framed by a “corrupt” police officer, according to media reports.
The reversed convictions brings the total to 42 cases that have been overturned that involved Sgt. Ronald Watts, ABC News reported. Each of the 18 cases overturned Monday were tied to narcotics arrests.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx told ABC News that the county couldn’t hold up the convictions “because of the behavior of Sgt. Watts and his crew.”
“What we know what was happening with Sgt. Watts and the way he ran his operation was that there were many men and women who fell victim to his corrupt ways,” Foxx said.
Watts was arrested by the FBI in 2012 and pleaded guilty to stealing money from a federal informant, the Chicago Tribune reported. He was sentenced to 22 months in prison.
Further convictions tied to Watts could be overturned in the future. The Chicago Tribune reported Monday that state’s attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit is still reviewing 30 to 40 additional cases tied to the officer.