Ex-Police Officer Pleads Guilty in Corruption Case

By Matt Fitzpatrick
|  Thursday, May 26, 2011  |  Updated 4:40 PM EDT
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Ex-Police Officer Pleads Guilty in Corruption Case

NBCWashington.com

FBI agents at the home of Prince George's County Police Sgt. Richard Delabrer in Laurel, Md.

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A former Prince George’s County police officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to extortion conspiracy in relation to a scheme that involved the transport, and distribution of untaxed alcohol and cigarettes, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

Richard Delabrer, 46, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to interfere with commerce by extortion under the color of official right and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. 

According to the Attorney’s Office the plea agreement states:

Starting in July 2009, Delabrer helped protect loads of untaxed alcohol brought from Virginia to Maryland to be sold to a retail liquor store in Prince George’s County.  Delabrer had both his police identification and police-issued firearm arm on him during this time.

During the conspiracy Delabrer, the owner of the liquor store and another conspirator paid an undercover agent $116,505 for contraband alcohol.

Delabrer also bought illegal contraband cigarettes from an undercover agent and re-sold them to other people.  Delabrer was involved in at least 33 illicit transactions and altogether Delabrer and conspirators paid the undercover agent $1,770,230 for more than 17 million contraband cigarettes.

“The tax loss attributable to Delabrer relating to the illegal cigarette trafficking is $2,820,120: based upon unpaid taxes of $1,704,000 owed to Maryland, $255,600 owed to Virginia, and $860,520 owed to the federal government.  The tax loss to Maryland attributable to the shipment and sale of contraband liquor was approximately $15,000.”

Delabrer is facing up to 20 years for extortion conspiracy and five years to life for the gun offense.  No sentencing date has been scheduled at this time.

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