Ex-high ranking EC cop enters federal plea deal for dealing cocaine

A retired East Chicago Police Commander entered a federal plea deal Tuesday for dealing cocaine while on duty in 2021.

Louis Arcuri, Jr., 55, admitted on April 23 to distribution of a quantity of cocaine in the U.S. District Court in Hammond.

His sentencing is expected Aug. 29 before U.S. District Judge Gretchen Lund.

Court filings provide limited information on the allegations. His plea deal shows he sold cocaine to “individual A,” who is not named, on June 11, 2021 while wearing his service weapon.

Arcuri told U.S. District Magistrate Judge John Martin that he understood the allegations. How do you plead, Martin later asked.

“Guilty, your honor,” he said.

Arcuri retired last year after 32 years on the force.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Nozick and Thomas McGrath are prosecuting. Attorney John Cantrell represents Arcuri.

After the hearing, East Chicago Councilman Robert Garcia, who attended, said Arcuri was under a “cloud of judgment” for several years.

Arcuri was promoted to patrol division Commander in June 2022.

“Nothing has been done,” Garcia said. “Today was a (proven) point, he pleaded guilty.”

When he was sworn in, East Chicago Police Chief Jose Rivera, then a 24-year veteran of the force, said in June 2022 he handpicked Arcuri, because the patrol division needed “great leadership and supervision,” according to a video posted to the ECTV Indiana, the city’s public access Facebook page.

The division was the “backbone” of the department and its public “face”, Rivera said.

Arcuri said then in brief comments he wanted to make the city “a safe and good place to live.”

Rivera was not immediately available for comment.