Pot Shop Shakedown Lands SoCal Man in the Soup

LOS ANGELES (CN) — A former staffer for a member of Congress faces up to 18 years in prison after a federal jury on Thursday convicted him of bribery and attempted extortion for taking $5,000 to protect a Compton marijuana store from closing.

Michael Kimbrew, 44, of Carson was convicted of shaking down the shop in March through May 2015. At the time he was a staffer for U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn, who was not involved in Kimbrew’s doing. Hahn now is a Los Angeles County supervisor.

Kimbrew was arrested in August 2017. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted him, said Kimbrew claimed to “oversee all activities in Compton,” and that as a staffer for a member of Congress he had “authority” and “jurisdiction” over Compton’s public officials.

Unfortunately for Kimbrew, he repeated those claims to an undercover FBI agent who was wired for sound, and threatened to close down the shop unless he got the money, according to the U.S. attorney’s statement.

Kimbrew took the money from the agent inside a restaurant menu and then promised his “undying support” for the shop, prosecutors said.

The jury deliberated for 4 hours and convicted him of bribery and attempted extortion.

He will be sentenced on June 4.

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