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Police: Prince George's Inspector Demands Money from Undercover Officer

A restaurant owner told police about an inspector's threats to take his permits unless he paid the inspector's band a $1,000 a week to perform, police said Friday.

A Prince George's County building inspector demanded money from an undercover police officer Thursday who was posing as a restaurant entertainment manager, according to Prince George's County police.

According to the police report, the restaurant owner contacted police because a county employee had allegedly made ongoing threats to take his permits away unless he paid the suspect's band $1,000 a week to perform at the restaurant.

Police on Thursday arrested 52-year-old John Cleveland Brown of Clinton, MD and charged him with extortion and harassment.

Brown, who works with the Department of Environmental Resources, had first approached the owner of Levi's Restaurant on the 6400 block of Coventry Way in Clinton in March and allegedly kept the threats up for months, according to police.

The band did at some point perform at the restaurant on a free trial basis, according to Prince George's Police spokeswoman Julie Parker. But after the performance, Brown told the business owner he wanted $1,000 and the business owner argued that wasn't what they had agreed to, according to Parker.

The undercover operation came out of meetings between Levi's owner and the State's Attorney's Office. Environmental Resources worked with officers, according to police.

Brown was released on his own recognizance Thursday afternoon, according to Parker. He is on administrative leave, according to Adam Ortiz, Acting Director of the Department of Environmental Resources.

The investigation is ongoing and police want to hear from anyone who may have had similar interactions with Brown in the past, according to Parker.

Editor's Note: The headline was edited to more accurately reflect the charges against Brown.

Margaret Miller January 05, 2013 at 11:12 AM
Administrative leave? Not fired due to being a government employee perhaps? Therein lies the rub!
michael thompson January 05, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Nope, incorrect. He's not fired yet - because he/she/or anyone else is entitled to due process. First there will be an investigation. Once it is complete, he will either be charged or not charged, if charged - he will be fired and processed further through the court system. That's the law.
Carolyn January 07, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Prince George's County....what a county! Remind me why I live there...oh cheap houses...but what good when you can't even trust the officials that are there to serve and protect you....lol
tanisha January 08, 2013 at 12:39 PM
I hope they start undercover stings on some of the liquor inspectors - CROOKS!
Shaka Zulu January 08, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Typical Prince Georges county employee, they only hire criminals and it seems they are all African Americans, I think they are discriminating against all other criminals that need jobs too.

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