Former Prince George’s County Executive Jack B. Johnson is scheduled to appear in federal court next week for a preliminary hearing after being arrested in an FBI corruption probe in November.
The calendar for the U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Md., shows Johnson is expected to appear before Magistrate Judge William Connelly at 4 p.m Feb. 16.
Johnson was ensnared in a countywide FBI corruption probe in November. Court documents say FBI agents had learned “certain real estate developers in Prince George’s County … were regularly providing things of value to public officials in exchange for official acts that were favorable to these individuals and their companies.”
Also arrested in the probe was Leslie Johnson, a Democrat who was elected to County Council last fall. She is Jack Johnson’s wife.
Leslie Johnson had been scheduled to appear in court Feb. 16 as well, but requested and was granted more time to prepare.
Leslie Johnson was arrested by FBI agents at home in Mitchellville after her husband called her on his cell phone and told her to flush a $100,000 check from a developer down the toilet, court documents say. She also stuffed $79,600 in cash into her bra as FBI officials were knocking on their front door, documents say.
Earlier that day, Jack Johnson accepted a $15,000 payoff from a developer in exchange for his “official influence and authority,” court documents allege.
The countywide corruption probe led to the arrest of nine other people at the end of 2010, including three Prince George’s police officers.
Police Sgt. Richard Delabrer, 45; Cpl. Chong Chin Kim, 42; Langley Park store owners Amrik Singh Melhi, 51, and Ravinder Kaur Melhi, 49; Amir Miljkovic, 39; Chun Chen, 34; and Jose Moreno, 49, were charged in a plot to transport and distribute untaxed alcohol and cigarettes from Virginia and Maryland.
That trial was supposed to begin Jan. 11, but it was postponed and has not yet been rescheduled, said a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney. “That’s not unusual in a federal case,” Marcia Murphy said. “It could be any number of things, like attorney conflicts.”
Prince George’s County Police Officer Sinisa Simic, 25, and Mirza Kujundzic, 30, were named in a separate indictment related to drug trafficking, including the transportation and distribution of cocaine and illegally possessing firearms. Trial dates for Simic and Kujundzic have not been set.
–By Maryland Newsline’s Alexander Pyles
Related Link: Maryland Newsline Special Report: FBI Probe