There are things you shouldn't do when you're the police chief. One of them is stealing the Xboxes that the FBI planted in a car because they thought you were dirty.

Former East Saint Louis police chief Michael Baxton plead guilty yesterday to doing just that.

From the Belleville News Democrat's story about Baxton's plea:

The federal agents decided to test Baxton, and on Oct. 5 they used a federal vehicle as a bait car. They bought five Xbox 360 gaming systems for $400 each, put them in the trunk and reported the car as stolen from Columbia.

Baxton responded to the call about an abandoned vehicle with an Alorton officer.

"Unbeknownst to Baxton, the unnamed officer voluntarily came forward to report other acts of misconduct occurring in Alorton and had been assisting the federal investigation from its inception. The unnamed officer was equipped with covert surveillance devices at the time of the theft - and he audio and video recorded the entire incident," the government's document stated.

When he found the gaming systems, Baxton directed the other officer to put four of them in Baxton's trunk, take the fifth for himself and destroy the box it came in. The court record states Baxton gave away three of the Xbox systems and kept one for himself.


Baxton is facing up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $500,000 for the thefts and for initially lying about them to federal agents.

Baxton pleads guilty to stealing Xbox systems in federal sting operation []

(Photo of Michael Baxton by KMOV 4)