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Local

Ex-Rock Falls detective tipped off drug dealers, prosecutors say

CHICAGO – A former Rock Falls detective was tipping off drug dealers, selling marijuana, and stealing from the police department's evidence locker, investigators say.

The state attorney general's office today revealed details of Veronica Jaramillo's indictment, and of the charges facing the three they say are her co-conspirators.

Jaramillo, 43, of Sterling, already accused of stealing money from an evidence vault and official misconduct in a separate case, now also is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, punishable by 3 to 7 years in prison; and possession of marijuana, conspiracy, and four counts of official misconduct, each punishable by 2 to 5 years.

Click here for more details on the first case, and here for more details on the latter.

She is free on $20,000 bond in the first case, and has a hearing July 28 in Lee County Court on the new charges.

In a news release this afternoon, prosecutors said Jaramillo leaked information of a pending investigation into Jody Canas, 44, of Sterling, Rickey L. Richardson, 52, of Harmon, and Lynn H. Robinett, 45 of Dixon, who were planning to sell drugs.

Richardson, who was arrested June 14, is charged with delivery of cocaine, 15 to 100 grams, punishable by 6 to 30 years in prison, and two counts of delivery of cocaine, 5 to 15 grams, punishable by 4 to 15 years. His bond information was not available.

Robinett, also arrested June 14, is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, punishable by 3 to 7 years, and conspiracy/possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, punishable by 2 to 5 years. He posted bond, but details were not yet available.

Canas, whose live-in girlfriend, Violeta "Violet" Jaramillo, 46, is Veronica Jaramillo's sister, was indicted by a state grand jury June 10 on six counts of drug possession, delivery, and conspiracy. He faces up to 30 years in prison.

He is in Lee County Jail on $200,000 bond; a bond reduction hearing is July 11.

No further information was released.

Assistant Attorney General John Kezdy is prosecuting.

“It is unfortunate to see a member of the law enforcement community take advantage of her position of authority,” Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in the release. "These indictments hold the former detective accountable and demonstrate a successful collaboration between my office and our local law enforcement partners in Whiteside and Lee counties."

Jaramillo, who resigned May 27, was the lead investigator in the Dec. 6 death of Paul Rodney Depotter, 27, of Rock Falls, who died of a fatal heroin overdose.

According to police documents sent to Sauk Valley Media by his mother, Penny Depotter, 46, of Dixon, $1,741 was found on Depotter's body in his Rock Falls apartment that day and was entered into evidence. It's the same amount Veronica Jaramillo is accused of taking.

Prosecutors say Jaramillo, a law officer for 11 years, used the money she stole from the evidence vault, to which she had a key, to pay utility bills.

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