Earlier this afternoon, I spent a lot of time putting up the court documents from McHenry County Sheriff’s Sergeant John Koziol so you can read most of the details, if you wish.
Now that I have time to read it carefully, let me try to summarize what’s going on.
Koziol was assigned with a drug task force being coordinated with the Drug Enforcement Administration working out of Rockford.
The Special DEA Agent, unidentified in the court papers, asked for information about the Rita Corporation, located at the southeast corner of Route 31 and Three Oaks Road.
On July 9 of this year that agent contacted Koziol to tell him “a truck had been intercepted by DEA agents in Corpus Christi, Texas, and that the truck had been carrying 4,000 pounds of cannabis destined for Rita Corporation in Crystal Lake, Illinois.”
He wanted information on the company.
Koziol summarized his rely:
“…told Special Agent Doe that Rita Corporation was
- owned by Brian Goode, a McHenry County Sheriffs Merit Commissioner,
and that Rita Corporation was a major financial and political supporter of
- Sheriff Keith Nygren and of
- McHenry County Undersheriff Andy Zinke.
“Affiant also told Special Agent Doe that the address for the Rita Corporation in Crystal Lake was the same address being used by Undersheriff Zinke’s political campaign committee for Zinke’s political campaign for the Office of Sheriff of McHenry County.”
When asked if he should share the information with Zinke, the DEA agent at first told him not to, then the next day when told General Orders required him to tell his superiors, “Special Agent Doe replied ‘yeah, go ahead and tell Andy [Undersheriff Zinke], it’s not going to matter.'”
Koziol then briefed his immediate boss, Detective Lt. James Popovits, and asked him to go with him to the Zinke briefing. this was on July 11th.
After being briefed on the details of the investigation, Zinke stated “there is no way Brian [Goode] is involved.” Zinke also stated that a similar situation had happened ten years earlier at another of Rita Corporation’s locations in Forne, Texas. Zinke then stated that “Brian [Goode] would be happy to supply trucking routes and help with the next delivery going through.”
An appointment set for DEA Agent to brief Zinke on Friday, July 13th.
At that time, Undersheriff Zinke stated, “I’m having lunch with Brian [Goode] on Friday.” Zinke then stated ”I’m not going to say anything to him though,” which Kosiol understood “as an acknowledgement from Zinke that the information was to be kept confidential. Affiant also confirmed to Zinke that the information was to be kept confidential,” the affidavit reads.
The next day, Thursday, July 12th the Sheriff’s Sergeant and the DEA agent met face·to·face and talked about he investigation of Rita Corporation.
The next paragraph is worth quoting in its entirety:
“Special Agent Doe informed Affiant that the investigation was bigger than had previously been thought, and that DEA in Texas had been working separate cases and didn’t connect them immediately. Special Agent Doe also informed Affiant that there were separate trucks going to Rita Corporation and to two other area locations, and that it was estimated that 60,000 pounds of cannabis had been shipped into the area over a ten month period.”
Friday morning Koziol went outside to try to get better a better cell phone connection with the DEA Agent to make sure his briefing of Zinke would occur at 11 before Zinke had lunch with Goode.
There he saw Zinke meeting with Goode.
The two approached Koziol.
After introducing Goode, Zinke said,
“I told Brian everything.”
In Koziol’s affidavit he states he “was stunned by Zinke’s admission that Zinke had disclosed confidential information concerning a DEA investigation to Brian Goode, the owner of Rita Corporation, the suspect corporation in a federal drug investigation. Affiant believed that the investigation had been compromised.”
Zinke then stated “yeah, this sounds like the same thing that happened ten years ago down in Forne, Texas.”
After getting through to the DEA agent and telling him what Zinke had done, the agent exclaimed,
“Are you f–king kidding me,”
and cancelled the meeting.
At the DEA agent’s instruction Koziol texted Zinke to remind him “that all information pertaining to the DEA’s investigation of the Rita Corporation was to be kept confidential,” the sworn statement says.
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The petition for a Special Prosecutor describes the powers of Undersheriff Zinke:
“The citizens of McHenry County have a compelling interest in insuring the integrity of the McHenry County Sheriffs Office. The Undersheriff of McHenry County is the second highest-ranking law enforcement official in the Sheriffs Office, and possesses extensive resources and broad powers of investigation and arrest. The Undersheriff has the ability to initiate investigations into private citizens, to file criminal charges against private citizens, and to receive confidential information concerning the police operations in McHenry County. If misused, the Undersheriff’s extensive powers can significantly infringe upon the constitutional rights of the citizenry and can result in great hardship and constitutional deprivations.”