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Ex-cop pleads not guilty to misconduct, weapons charges

Published: Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 11:02 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 12:00 a.m. CDT
Ryszard T. Kopacz

WOODSTOCK – A former police sergeant denied allegations that he stole weapons from the Hebron Police Department.

Ryszard T. Kopacz, 30, who was arrested July 10 on seven felonies, entered a not guilty plea Thursday to all charges. He appeared before McHenry County Judge Gordon Graham.

Authorities believe Kopacz, of Wauconda, was in possession of two stolen weapons from the Hebron Police Department.

The guns, a Winchester Model 94 and a .30 caliber U.S. Carbine, had Hebron evidence tags on them, prosecutors have said.

Kopacz had worked for the Hebron Police Department since 2006, but was fired in June for what officials said were budgetary reasons, not because of the criminal allegations against him.

He then was hired by the Richmond Police Department, where he worked for a week before being fired July 6 for failing to show up for work. Kopacz’s arrest came four days later.

Kopacz was charged with three counts of official misconduct, three counts of possession of a stolen firearm and aggravated possession of a stolen firearm. The most serious charge against him has a sentencing range of four to 15 years in prison.

Police also are investigating an allegation that Kopacz, in uniform, went door to door in Richmond soliciting prescription drugs.

Kopacz’s employment records, obtained by the Northwest Herald through a Freedom of Information Act request, indicate Kopacz was disciplined twice in Hebron before his termination.

He started with the Hebron police in 2006, was quickly promoted to sergeant, and logged nearly eight years before his first suspension for minor infractions earlier this year.

Kopacz is free on bond since posting $10,000 shortly after his arrest. His next court date is Sept. 15.

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