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Crime watch for Jan. 10


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Published on: Wednesday, January 09, 2013

County employee accused of extortion, harrassment

Prince George’s County Police Department arrested a building inspector for the Department of Environmental Resources on Jan. 3. He is charged with extortion and harassment.

The accused county employee is John Cleveland Brown, 52, of Clinton. Brown was on duty, displaying his county ID and using his county car at the time of his arrest.

In a preliminary investigation, the owner of a Clinton restaurant said Brown first approached him last March. Using his position as a building inspector, Brown allegedly tried to get the owner of Levi’s Restaurant, located in the 6400 block of Coventry Way, to pay $1,000 a week for the inspector’s band to perform at the restaurant. Brown allegedly threatened repeatedly to take away the restaurant owner’s permits unless the owner complied. According to the investigation, this occurred for months until the owner contacted police.

After meeting with the business owner and the State’s Attorney’s Office, detectives set up an undercover operation in which a police officer posed as the restaurant’s entertainment manager. When the suspect came to the restaurant last Thursday and demanded money from the undercover police officer, he was placed under arrest.

The Department of Environmental Resources was aware of the police department’s investigation and worked with the department to ensure this matter was handled properly and efficiently.

This investigation is ongoing. Prince George’s County Police Department would like to hear from anyone who may have had similar interactions with Brown in the past.

— From police reports

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