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Charge: CeaseFire worker sold heroin near group’s HQ

Sylvester Hudson

Sylvester Hudson

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Updated: December 10, 2013 6:10AM

A CeaseFire worker was secretly recorded selling heroin to a federal informant outside the anti-violence agency’s headquarters at the University of Illinois at Chicago, prosecutors say.

Sylvester Hudson, 39, was arrested on Oct. 28 and charged in U.S. District Court with selling heroin.

An informant wearing a hidden recording device captured Hudson in two heroin deals outside CeaseFire’s headquarters at 1603 W. Taylor, according to an FBI complaint.

Hudson is the latest embarrassment for CeaseFire, whose $1 million contract with the city of Chicago expired at the end of August and was not renewed.

Earlier in the year, former director Tio Hardiman was arrested on domestic violence charges. His contract with CeaseFire was not renewed, either.

The charges against Hardiman were later dropped and his wife recently told the Chicago Sun-Times she was not a victim of physical abuse. Hardiman is now a long-shot candidate for governor.

Hudson is among at least eight CeaseFire workers who have been charged with committing crimes while on CeaseFire’s payroll since 2007, records show.

In July 2012, an informant and a drug “broker” drove in separate cars to Taylor and Marshfield near the CeaseFire offices at the University of Illinois at Chicago, which operates the program.

The informant allegedly gave the broker $2,700 to buy 30 grams of heroin from Hudson. The deal was made in a garage, prosecutors said.

Almost a month later, the informant and broker stepped inside Hudson’s SUV parked near CeaseFire’s offices, prosecutors said. Hudson handed 50 grams of heroin to the informant and the broker paid Hudson $4,500, prosecutors said. Then the trio chatted about the heroin business, with Hudson being recorded as saying: “The whole thing is all about turnover,” according to the federal complaint.

He also was charged with murder in 1990 and 1998, but found not guilty both times, court records show.

The FBI complaint said Hudson is a member of the Black Disciples street gang. The informant, also a gang member, was cooperating with the Chicago Police Department and received $46,000 for his help in other cases, the complaint said. A gun charge was dropped in exchange for his cooperation.

At Hudson’s Oct. 30 bond hearing on the federal drug charge, prosecutors expressed concern about Hudson continuing to work at CeaseFire since he was accused of dealing drugs outside the agency’s offices.

Magistrate Judge Mary Rowland said he could continue to work there, but must tell CeaseFire about his arrest. Hudson was released in lieu of $10,000 bail and placed on electronic monitoring.

CeaseFire and Hudson’s attorney did not return calls seeking comment.

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