Officials say deputy lied to FBI

By Matt O'Connor
Tribune staff reporter

April 27, 2007

A Cook County sheriff's deputy was indicted Thursday on charges she lied to the FBI about the last time she had contact with a fugitive wanted in a massive federal probe of the Black Disciples street gang.

Shareese Holston, 33, a correctional officer at the County Jail since August 2004, was charged with making a false statement while agents questioned her in February about her ties to Finnie Hawkins, who is accused of being a drug supplier to the gang.

Hawkins had been a fugitive since May 2004, but he was caught last month in the Atlanta area, authorities said.

Holston of Chicago is the 73rd defendant to be charged in the probe of the Black Disciples street gang. So far, 62 have been convicted.

The one-count indictment against Holston says she lied to investigators when she claimed she hadn't met with Hawkins in the last two years.

Sheriff's spokesman Bill Cunningham said jail officials stripped Holston of her gun and badge and placed her on desk duty after learning of the allegations weeks ago. Now that she has been indicted, the sheriff's office will seek to have her suspended without pay, Cunningham said.

Holston's lawyer, George Jackson III, said his client would fight the charge.

Jackson called the indictment "unfortunate" and said Holston was an acquaintance of Hawkins.

"She is a single mother, a hard-working mom devoted to her children," Jackson said.

Meanwhile, Marvel Thompson, a reputed leader of the Black Disciples, was sentenced to 45 years in prison Thursday for overseeing the gang's narcotics operation in Chicago.

Thompson, who prosecutors say at one time ranked as the gang's lone king, could have been sentenced to life.

Thompson pleaded guilty in 2005 to conspiring to distribute a kilogram of heroin and several kilograms of cocaine, according to Assistant U.S. Atty. Joseph Alesia.

After hearing two days of evidence, U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo found Thompson responsible for distributing more than 150 kilograms of cocaine.

Alesia said that Thompson ruled the gang with violence, once forcing a member who violated an order to choose between having his arms or legs broken or being shot in the hand.

Thompson's lawyer, Andrea Gambino, decried the 45-year term as "another example of an excessive drug sentence."

Thompson had no prior felony convictions, she said.