Julie Carey, Courtroom sketches by Art Lien
There's a new twist in the Prince George's County corruption scandal. We're now learning that the three police officers arrested may have been caught breaking the law on videotape. (Courtroom sketches by Art Lien.)
A Prince George's County police officer charged in a corruption scandal apparently was caught on videotape agreeing to transport drugs.
Simic and two other county police officers were arrested Monday, just days after County Executive Jack Johnson was taken into custody on corruption charges. Prosecutors said the cases are related, but have not said how.
"What has happened here since Friday has been sort of a frenzy," Simic's attorney said. "I think everybody needs to realize the process needs to work itself out and let this thing go forth in the normal course, and that's what I was asking for today."
Prosecutors said Wednesday they started watching Simic and an accomplice after learning several Prince George's County police officers were being paid to protect and transport illegal untaxed cigarettes and liquor, NBC Washington's Julie Carey reported. Another defendant, Amrik Melhi, who owns several liquor stores with his wife, is accused of hiring the officers.
Investigators first wire-tapped Simic's cell phone, prosecutors said. When the conversation allegedly turned to drug-running, investigators secretly videotaped Simic repackaging cocaine, placing it in a coffee can and then driving it to New York and New Jersey, prosecutors said. His accomplice would follow in another vehicle, authorities said.
A total of nine people were arrested Monday in the federal investigation into drugs, guns and the transport of untaxed cigarettes and alcohol.