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Prosecutors Charge ESL Police Chief, Three Others

East St. Louis Police Chief Ronald Matthews
East St. Louis Police Chief Ronald Matthews

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Federal prosecutors in the Metro East announced corruption charges Friday against four people connected with East St. Louis city government.

One indictment says Director of Regulatory Affairs Kelvin Ellis arranged to have a federal witness discredited and killed in relation to a voter fraud investigation.

A separate indictment names Police Chief Ronald Matthews and his secretary Janerra Carson-Slaughter, as well as former auxiliary police officer Ayoub Qattoum.

Qattoum is a convicted felon and is barred from owning firearms.

U.S. Attorney Ronald Tenpas said Qatttoum tried to get his gun back after East St. Louis police confiscated it.

"The indictment alleges that Mr. Matthews, Ms. Janerra, and Mr. Qattoum then conspired to have the gun returned to Mr. Qattoum and kept out of the possession of federal agents, with Mr. Qattoum offering a $1,500 payment in order for that to occur," Tenpas said.

The four were arrested Friday, and made initial appearances in federal court.

Four federal agencies and the Illinois State Police are involved in the investigation.