Prince George’s police arrest county employee on extortion charges

WASHINGTON – The Prince George’s County Police Department arrested a county building inspector on harassment and extortion charges of a local soul food restaurant where he wanted his band to play.

The suspect is John Cleveland Brown, 52, of Clinton, Md., a Department of Environmental Resources (DER) building inspector for Prince George’s County. He was on duty, displaying his county ID and using his county car at the time of his arrest on Jan. 3.

A preliminary investigation reveals that the owner of Levi’s Restaurant in Clinton says Brown first approached him last March and used his position as a building inspector to get the owner to pay Brown $1000 a week for the inspector’s band to perform at the restaurant.

According to the investigation by Prince George’s police, Brown threatened repeatedly to take away the restaurant owner’s permits unless the owner complied. This occurred for months until the owner contacted police. Levi’s Restaurant is located in the 6400 block of Coventry Way.

After meeting with the restaurant 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 this week and demanded money from the undercover police officer, he was placed under arrest.

This investigation is ongoing and police would like to hear from anyone who may have had similar interactions with Brown in the past by contacting the Prince George’s Police Department’s Media Relations Division at 301-772-4710.

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