The Chicago Sun-Times
May 7, 2003
Ex-trooper allegedly armed gangs
BY STEVE WARMBIR AND FRANK MAIN
Former State Police sergeant Dennis Kalinoski not only smoked crack and sold guns to gang-bangers, he even offered a Black P Stone gang-banger shooting lessons, authorities allege.
"Does anybody need any instruction on how to make this work?" Kalinoski asks the gang member, who was secretly working for the feds and recording the chat.
"Hell no, man, we don't need no mother------- instructions," the gang member replies.
"Good luck," Kalinoski said.
Kalinoski left little doubt what he figured the gun was for.
"If I was going into a serious social encounter," he advised, lowering his voice to a whisper, "I would take one of those with me."
Investigators seized 402 firearms and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition from Kalinoski's North Riverside home Sunday after arresting him and finding a crack pipe on him.
Kalinoski, a 17-year State Police veteran, was charged Tuesday with having a firearm while using crack, selling guns and ammunition to a felon and transferring guns knowing they will be used to commit drug-related and violent crimes.
Kalinoski, 60, admits in secretly taped conversations that he helped stir up a war between gangs in south suburban Maywood--the Black P Stones and the Four Corner Hustlers--apparently by selling guns to both gangs. The town has been plagued by gang shootings.
A court affidavit by U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Agent David Balkema paints a portrait of a retired cop gone to seed, driving around in a brown-and-white Ford Econoline van and selling guns out of it for crack or cash.
In court Tuesday, Kalinoski wore the look of a beaten-down basset hound, stubble coating his jowls.
In 2001, Kalinoski got into trouble for illegal gun sales but beat the state case and got back more than 500 guns that were seized. Some of those guns, investigators suspect, Kalinoski sold again.
Federal prosecutor David Hoffman said Kalinoski should remain behind bars until trial because he's a danger to the community. Kalinoski will have a bond hearing May 13.
Maywood investigators, who developed key evidence in the case, are looking to see if he sold guns in several possibly gang-related shootings in town, including one last Thursday in which seven people were wounded.
The raging war between the Maywood gangs came up as the gang-banger on tape looked over Kalinoski's guns for sale.
"You got enough s--- in here to start a mother------- war," the gang-banger says.
"More than that," Kalinoski says, "I think I already did."
Another time, the gang-banger says: "You got some s--- around here. You like you're bin Laden, god------."
"When ATF comes a knocking," Kalinoski said, "I'm going to be f-----."
Kalinoski operated a gun shop called Dekalin Ltd. out of his home in the 1980s, according to a law enforcement source. He dissolved the company in 1988, state records show. In June 2002, he lost his federal license to sell guns because he failed to renew it, authorities said.
In 1976, Kalinoski joined the Illinois Bureau of Investigations, which later merged with the State Police. He retired as a sergeant in general investigations in 1993.
He had no black marks on his State Police record, said Master Sgt. Lincoln Hampton, a State Police spokesman.
Kalinoski's mother defended her son Tuesday, calling him a good cop who'd never betray his badge, even after retirement.
"I know my son would never sell a gun to a criminal because he's been on the other side of these criminals all these years working for the State Police," said Barbara H. Verchota, who is 80. "He's not the kind of person who would take drugs either. I know he hooked up with a woman who did drugs, but he's been sort of a health nut."
Sometimes, Verchota said, her son would even sell guns out of her home.