FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
March 14, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUPERSEDING INDICTMENT CHARGES PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY POLICE OFFICER AND HIS CO-DEFENDANT WITH CORRUPTION, DRUG TRAFFICKING AND FIREARMS VIOLATIONS
Greenbelt, Maryland - A federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment today against Prince George’s County Police officer Sinisa Simic, age 25, and Mirza Kunjundzic, age age 30, both of Woodbridge, Virginia adding charges of conspiring to commit extortion under color of official right in a scheme involving the transportation and distribution of untaxed cigarettes, distribution of cocaine and additional firearms charges. The superseding indictment also includes the original charges filed against Simic and Kunjundzic of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and use of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.
The superseding indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Special Agent in Charge Rebecca Sparkman of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.
The superseding indictment charges Simic and Kunjundzic with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by extortion under color of official right; conspiracy to distribute cocaine; and conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of a crime of violence and drug trafficking crime. Specifically, the indictment charges that the defendants conspired with others on at least seven occasions from September 9 through December 3, 2009, to pay police officers, including Sinisa Simic, in exchange for them using their official authority to ensure the safe transport and distribution of untaxed cigarettes in Maryland and Virginia. Further, the indictment alleges that Simic and Kunjundzic possessed firearms in furtherance of the transportation and distribution of untaxed cigarettes, and on October 7, October 22 and November 12, 2009, also possessed firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking, specifically, distribution of cocaine. Finally, the superseding indictment alleges that in December 2009, Simic made a false statement to licensed firearms dealer that the .50 caliber handgun he was purchasing was for his own use, when in fact he was purchasing the gun at the direction of and for use by his co-defendant, Mirza Kunjundzic. Simic then allegedly transferred the gun to Kunjundzic for use in furtherance of the drug trafficking conspiracy and the conspiracy to transport and distribute untaxed cigarettes.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each of the eight counts in the extortion conspiracy; a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison for the drug conspiracy charge; a mandatory five years in prison on the first count and 25 years on each of the other six counts, consecutive to any other sentence, for the seven counts of possession of firearms in furtherance of a crime of violence and/or a drug trafficking crime; 20 years in prison for the firearms conspiracy charge; a minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison for each of three counts of distribution of cocaine; and 10 years in prison each for making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm and for transfer of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and a crime of violence. The defendants remain detained. No court date is currently scheduled.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
Mr. Rosenstein, Mr. McFeely and Ms. Sparkman expressed their appreciation to Interim Prince George's County Chief of Police Mark Magaw for the continuing assistance that he and his department are providing.
Interim Chief Magaw stated, “Corrupt cops tarnish the badge that we all wear. I appreciate the work of the FBI, IRS, and U.S. Attorney’s Office in helping us root out corruption and maintain public confidence in our police force.”
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI and IRS for their work in these investigations. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys James A. Crowell IV, A. David Copperthite and Sujit Raman, who are prosecuting the cases.