CHICAGO

Steven Mandell, Another Former Police Officer Charged In Elaborate Extortion, Murder Plot

10/26/2012 05:18 pm ET

Two former Chicago-area police officers, one of whom was previously released from death row, have been charged in an elaborate extortion and murder plot.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Steven Mandell, 61 -- formerly Steven Manning -- of Buffalo Grove, Ill., and Gary Engel, 61, of Homer Glen, were arrested Thursday evening. Mandell was formerly a Chicago police officer, while Engel was on the force in Willow Springs.

The two men allegedly planned to abduct, murder and extort an unnamed man whom they believed had access to lots of commercial real estate cash, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The two were arrested Thursday while preparing to carry out their alleged plan -- to "arrest" their victim using fake police credentials and take him to a Northwest Side office they dubbed "Club Med" to get a hold of the money and then kill him. Prosecutors say they specifically planned to drain the man's blood and butcher his remains, according to ABC Chicago.

Mandell, according to authorities, can be heard on undercover video and audio recordings speculating that their victim -- whom they referred to as "Soupie Sales" -- made at least $100,000 from the properties he owned.

The intended victim was never in any immediate danger in the undercover FBI investigation that led up to the charges, Patch reports.

Mandell, then Manning, was convicted of murder in 1993 in the kidnapping and murder of trucking company owner Jimmy Pellegrino, but that conviction was overturned in 1998, and he was released from prison, according to CBS Chicago.

In 2005, Manning was rewarded $6.5 million after he sued two federal agents for framing him, an award that a judge overruled. He was also previously convicted of insurance fraud.

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