Two Bowie men were sentenced to prison for their participation in an extortion conspiracy case involving contraband cigarettes.
U.S District Judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced Amir Miljkovic, age 40 and owner of College Park’s Prestige Auto Glass to 30 months in prison with three years of supervised release for conspiracy to interfere with commerce by extortion under color of official right, arising from a scheme involving the transport and distribution of untaxed cigarettes.
Chun “Eddy” Chen age 36, received a sentence of 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised released for his role in the conspiracy.
"The focus on cigarette smuggling is one of several initiatives that the IRS is partnering with local other federal agencies to combat," said IRS Special Agent in Charge Rick A. Raven in a press release issued by the Department of Justice. "The state revenue loss in taxes is substantial in these tough economic times."
According court documents, the conspiracy began as early as June 2009, when Miljkovic raised the idea of transporting and selling untaxed cigarettes across state lines with an undercover agent working with the FBI.
In July 2009, Milkovic and Richard Delabrer (a former Prince George’s County police officer who was hired to protect shipments of contraband cigarettes and the proceeds) began selling the product to Chen and Chong Chin Kim, a Prince George’s County police officer, according to the release.
Since the first transaction on July 23, 2009, the conspirators conducted at least 33 transactions involving the sale of contraband cigarettes at a cost of $1,770,230 for a total of more than 17 million contraband cigarettes.
Judge Messitte also ordered Miljkovic and Chen to pay restitution and forfeit the funds from the transactions - $230,580, including $183,799 which was seized from his home at his arrest for Miljkovic; and $213,000, including $117,800 which was seized from his home at his arrest for Chen.
Delabrer, age 46, of Laurel, Maryland and Chong Chin Kim, age 44, of Odenton, Maryland, both pleaded guilty to their participation in the conspiracy. Delabrer is scheduled to be sentenced on July 23, 2012 at 10 a.m. and Chen on June 25, 2012 at 9:30 a.m.