Chicago Sun Times

Ex-cop sues FBI agent, officer after wrongful conviction

May 29, 2010

A former Willow Spring police officer who spent more than 19 years in prison after being falsely convicted for kidnapping filed a federal lawsuit Friday against a federal agent and Buffalo Grove police officer who investigated the case.

Gary Engel claims FBI agent Robert Buchan and Buffalo Grove police Officer Robert Quid arrested him and had him charged for kidnapping when he refused to provide false evidence against a Chicago Police officer, according to a suit filed in U.S. District Court.

Engel was incarcerated for more than 19 years and was exonerated in April 2010, according to the suit. He was a former Willow Springs police officer, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The suit claims Buchan and Quid were investigating Chicago Police Officer Steve Manning for allegedly murdering Thomas McKillip in Buffalo Grove. The investigators were unable to prove Manning killed McKillip, but put together a case he murdered James Pellegrino, according to the suit.

The investigators also built a case against Manning for supposedly kidnapping two drug dealers in Kansas City, Missouri, and claimed Engel was involved in the kidnapping, according to the suit.

The FBI initially said the kidnapping happened in 1984 when Manning, Engel and two other men posed as agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and kidnapped Charles Ford and Mark Harris and held them for a $100,000 ransom, according to the Sun-Times.

Buchan and Quid asked Engel to testify against Manning, but Engel refused because he was not involved and had never been to Missouri, according to the suit.

The suit claims Engel was then charged with the kidnapping, prosecuted and sentenced to 90 years in prison.

Manning was convicted in the kidnapping and for murdering Pellegrino, whose sister is Engel’s ex-wife, according to the suit.

Engel and Manning were eventually acquitted of the kidnapping, and Manning was also acquitted of the murder, the suit said.

Manning resigned from the Chicago Police Department after a 1983 conviction for stealing a police typewriter, according to the Sun-Times.

The suit claims Buchan and Quid “maliciously prosecuted” Engel and caused him “to be prosecuted without probable cause and the resulting charges were ultimately disposed of in a manner indicative of innocence.”

Engel is seeking judgment against Buchan, Quid and the Village of Buffalo Grove for compensatory and punitive damages.

Wrongfully Convicted Cops
Truth in Justice