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News Maryland Howard County

Couple pleaded guilty to bribing former P.G. executive, cop

A Clarksville man pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges Thursday in a scheme in which he paid off the former's Prince George's County Executive and a county police officer for favors to benefit his liquor stores, according to the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office.

Amrik Singh Melhi, 51, admitted to extortion, while his wife, Ravinder Kaur Melhi, 49, pleaded guilty to conspiracy. Prosecutors said her charges involved illegally accessing protected Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration records.

According to his plea agreement, Amrik Melhi paid off the county executive with money and campaign donations in exchange for licenses, permit inspections, and influencing legislation to benefit his liquor stores Prince George's County.

Melhi also paid off Prince George's County Police officer Richard Delabrer to protect the shipments of contraband goods. Delabrer pleaded guilty to extortion in May for purchasing alcohol from an undercover agent and selling it to Melhi.

Melhi's wife asked Delabrer to access the MVA database to locate a person who had passed a bad check at one of their stores, according to the plea agreement. Melhi faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and Ravinder Melhi faces a maximum of five years. Amrik Melhi sentencing is scheduled September 12 and Ravinder Melhi on October 11.

The former county executive, Jack B. Johnson, pleaded guilty in May to accepting more than $400,000 in bribes, mostly from developers, as part of a wide-spread corruption investigation in Prince George's County.

jkanderson@baltsun.com

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