- Associated Press - Saturday, December 31, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - A former Chicago Police Department chief of detectives who helped run a nationwide ring of jewel thieves has died.

William Hanhardt, who also served as a deputy police superintendent, died Friday at Highland Park Hospital from complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to his family. He was 88.

Hanhardt pleaded guilty in October 2001 to running an alleged organized crime theft ring that stalked jewelry salesmen and stole more than $5 million in diamonds over 20 years.

Hanhardt was one of the highest-ranking Chicago police officials ever convicted of a crime.

During his 2002 sentencing hearing, then-Assistant U.S. Attorney John Scully said Hanhardt’s loyalty was to organized crime. Hanhardt received a 12-year sentence and was released in 2011.

Hanhardt’s family said his life shouldn’t be defined by his court case.

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