Maryland Auto Glass Shop Owner Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy Related to Transporting and Distributing Untaxed Cigarettes
July 5, 2011

Amir Miljkovic, the owner of a College Park, Md.-based auto glass shop, pleaded guilty on Friday, July 1, to "conspiracy to interfere with commerce by extortion under color of official right." The alleged conspiracy was related to a scheme involving the transport and distribution of untaxed alcohol and cigarettes, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), which brought the charges against Miljkovic and several others in October 2010.

Miljkovic, who owns Prestige Auto Glass, is alleged to have become involved in the scheme in June 2009, when he began discussing the transport and sale of untaxed cigarettes across state lines with an undercover agent. According to the FBI, he told the agent that he had an associate, a Prince George's County police officer named "Richard" who, using his official police authority, could protect shipments of contraband cigarettes and the proceeds from them. He then introduced the agent to a former Prince George's County police officer, Richard Delabrer, who also was charged and pleaded guilty previously to extortion charges, according to the FBI.

The next month, Delabrer and Miljkovic allegedly began purchasing cigarettes from the undercover agent and reselling them to others, who then sold them to individuals in New York, where cigarettes are taxed more than $8 per pack, according the FBI. To obtain the cigarettes, Miljkovic and Delabrer allegedly traveled to Virginia to pick up a rented truck, which had been loaded with the cigarettes by the undercover agent, and drove the loads to a storage unit in Maryland obtained by one of the other alleged co-conspirators.

According to the FBI, this type of transaction took place at least 33 times and Miljkovic was involved each time. The shipments of cigarettes ranged from 14 to 160 cases on each run, totaling approximately $1.8 million paid to the undercover agent for the contraband cigarettes, with a tax loss of $2.8 million attributable to Miljkovic, according to the FBI-based on unpaid taxes of $1.7 million owed to the state of Maryland, $255,600 owed to the commonwealth of Virginia, and $860,520 owed to the federal government.

Miljkovic faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine and also has agreed to the entry of an order of forfeiture in the amount of $2.8 million.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 14.

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