Former police officer pleads guilty to misusing helicopter funds

SPRINGFIELD - A former Countryside police chief has pleaded guilty to charges related to misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for a police helicopter program.

Authorities say Timothy Swanson, 56, pleaded guilty to federal charges of money laundering, tax evasion, and fraud.  Prosecutors say Swanson founded the Illinois Regional Air Support Service in 2005 in order to raise money for helicopters that police could use to support law enforcement activity.  The group was created while Swanson served in the Countryside Police Department.

Authorities say Swanson continued to run the organization after being hired by the Kankakee County Sheriff's Department in 2009.  Prosecutors say Swanson allegedly solicited approximately $350,000 from corporations, police departments, and individuals.

Swanson is scheduled for sentencing in May.
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