Federal agents continued their corruption sweep in Prince Georgia’s County on Monday, netting nine people, including three police officers. The arrests were part of a larger operation which began with the arrest of County Executive Jack B. Johnson and his wife on Friday.
FBI agents said that those arrested recently include police Sgt. Richard Delabrer, 45, of Laurel, Cpl. Chong Chin Kim, 42, of Beltsville and Officer Sinisa Simic, 25, of Woodbridge. A federal indictment claims that liquor store owner Ambrik S. Melhi, 51, and others paid Delabrer and Kim to protect the distribution of untaxed cigarettes and liquor in Virginia and Maryland. Melhi, the two officers and four other suspects are charged with conspiracy to commit extortion.
Simic was arrested on charges of involvement in cocaine distribution and using firearms in drug distribution. Another one of the suspects, Mirza Kujundzic, 30, was charged with the same offenses.
The indictment seeks the forfeiture of $3.5 million in cash, 25 homes and businesses, 13 vehicles and 84 bank accounts that authorities say are associated with the alleged crimes. U.S. District Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said that the new arrests were linked to the arrest of Johnson on Friday, but didn’t give more details.
The Washington Post
In a bizarre case, a man who was framed and falsely imprisoned is suing the mayor of suburban Harvey, Illinois, a community just south of downtown Chicago. The reason? Javon Patterson claims that Mayor Eric Kellogg was enraged over the disappearance of a cocaine stash owned by Kellogg and one of the city’s detectives, and set him up on the gun charge for which he served 2 ½ years before being exonerated by the State of Illinois.
Patterson claims that he was asked by an acquaintance, Willie Lloyd lll, to help steal a large amount of cocaine apparently owned by Harvey Detective Hollis Dorrough and Kellogg. Although Patterson refused to help, shortly thereafter Lloyd managed to steal the cocaine, which he showed to Patterson. Two months later, Lloyd was found dead from a gunshot wound in a case that remains unsolved.
Patterson was arrested a few weeks later and charged with a gun possession felony; while at the police station, he was questioned by both Kellogg and Dorrough about the whereabouts of their stolen cocaine. The lawsuit claims that Kellogg asked Patterson, “where’s my (expletive) cocaine?” He then told Patterson that if he ever returned to Harvey, he would have a murder charge pinned on him.
In 2008, an appeals court overturned the Patterson’s conviction and the state issued him a certificate of innocence. A judge has now ruled that Patterson can proceed in federal court with his lawsuit against Kellogg and Dorrough.
Kellogg is still the mayor of Harvey, and earlier this year, was named superintendant of the elementary school district. Dorrough is serving three years in prison for returning a weapon to a convicted drug dealer’s family, which he claims was done at Kellogg’s request. Kellogg was not charged in that case.
A Jackson Hole, Wyoming Sheriff’s deputy apparently lost a box containing 28 grams of methamphetamine along Highway 22, clearly marked with the letters “METH” on it. The box was being used by a Teton County Sheriff’s deputy in a training exercise with a drug sniffing dog. After the session, the deputy left the box on the bumper of the vehicle and drove off.
After the deputy realized what had happened and reported it to his supervisor, County Sheriff Jim Whalen ordered a sweep of the area by 10 officers, although the package was not located. Despite the police department’s plea to the public, no one has turned it in so far. According to the Sheriff’s office, if anyone is caught with the drugs, they’ll likely be charged with felony drug possession.
Jackson Hole Daily
Police officer Maximo Moreno, of Surfside, Florida, was arrested Friday after he was observed on three occasions of pulling over motorists and letting them off of potential tickets, providing that they agreed to have their cars towed out of the city. In the scheme, he would have his brother Allan Moreno, a tow truck driver, haul the car away for $300 in cash. The brothers then split the payment. They are each facing three counts of felony bribery.
The incidents were observed by Miami-Dade Detective Joaquin Garcia of the public corruption bureau, after the chief of police received a tip that Moreno was confiscating drugs from motorists for his own use. Earlier this year, another Surfside cop, Woodward Brooks, was fired after faking accident reports and filing bogus insurance claims.
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The Miami Herald
The Los Angeles U.S. Attorney’s office has confirmed that CVS has agreed to pay $75 million in a case accusing the pharmacy chain failing to provide proper safeguards in the sale of cold medications containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient for making methamphetamine.
Authorities charged that the company was in violation of the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005, which limits the amount of pseudoephedrine that one customer can purchase each day. Prosecutors claimed that the lax policies at CVS help fuel the meth trade in California and other states. The settlement is said to be largest ever in a controlled substance case.
Los Angeles Times