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
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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