WASHINGTON — An investigation into dirty cops and untaxed cigarettes and liquor in Prince George’s County, a suburb of Washington, grew after some targets of the probe mentioned to an undercover FBI agent that County Executive Jack Johnson was open to taking bribes, a law enforcement source told ticklethewire.com.
Johnson and his wife, Leslie, a county council member, were arrested last Friday for evidence tampering after they tried to hide evidence linked to bribes from a developer.
On Monday, three county cops including Sgt. Richard Delabrer and six others including a liquor store owner with links to Johnson were arrested in connection with an undercover FBI probe into dirty cops and the sale of untaxed cigarettes and liquor. One officer is charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine.
One key figure in the probe is Prince George’s County Police Sgt. Richard Delabrer, who authorities say helped protect and deliver untaxed liquor to Tick Tock Liquor and Restaurant in Langley Park, where he worked off duty as a security guard.
The owner of the liquor store, Amrik S. Melhi, owns other businesses in the county and has links to Johnson.
During the probe, the undercover FBI agent and a confidential source worked with the cops who were protecting and delivering illegal cigarettes and liquor. The FBI had wiretap and recorded conversations.
In one instance, the owner of Tick Tock Liquor, told the undercover agent that he once paid Johnson $40,000 to take care of a permit problem he had with one of his properties, according to the law enforcement source. Melhi said the problem was taken care of in one day.
In another instance, Sgt. Delabrer told the agent that he had to make sure the Tick Tock Liquor owner was happy because the owner has Johnson on his payroll, the source said. Delabrer went on to explain that in one instance his superior was mad at him and wanted to transfer him. But the liquor store owner contacted Johnson, who put the kabosh on the transfer.
Delabrer told the agent that Johnson is all about the money and that the liquor store owner provided liquor to Johnson any time the county executive had a party.
Johnson insisted last Friday that he has done nothing wrong and will be cleared of any charges. More charges are expected to be filed.
His attorney Billy Martin did not immediately return a phone call for comment. Attorneys for Delabrer and Melhi also did not immediately return calls to ticklethewire.com for comment Thursday morning.
Posted: November 18th, 2010 under FBI, News Story.
Tags: amrik melhi, baltimore field division, bribes, FBI, jack johnson, leslie johnson, mitchellville, Prince George's County, sgt. richard delabrer, tick tock liquor, wendy munoz