Former Prince George’s County Police Officer Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Untaxed Cigarettes and Cocaine and on Gun Charges
Members of the Conspiracy Paid an Undercover Agent $1,770,230 for More Than 17 Million Contraband Cigarettes
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 02, 2014|
GREENBELT, MD—U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced former Prince George’s County Police Officer Sinisa Simic, age 30, of Woodbridge, Virginia, today to 10 years in prison, followed by four years of supervised release, for an extortion conspiracy under color of official right arising from a scheme involving the transport and distribution of untaxed cigarettes; conspiracy to distribute cocaine; and possession and transfer of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and a crime of violence. Judge Messitte also ordered Simic to forfeit $1,137,898.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Kelly of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.
According to Simic’s plea agreement, between July 2009 and January 2010, Simic participated in a conspiracy to transport and distribute untaxed cigarettes in Maryland, Virginia, and elsewhere. As part of the conspiracy, Simic used his official authority as a Prince George’s County police officer to ensure the safe transport and distribution of the untaxed cigarettes in exchange for cash payments from a source and an undercover agent working with the FBI. During November 2009, law enforcement intercepted conversations on Simic’s cellular phone that indicated that Simic and his co-conspirator, Mirza Kunjundzic, both wanted Kunjundzic to be armed while they were protecting the contraband cigarettes during transportation and distribution. Simic subsequently obtained a 50-caliber handgun requested by Kunjundzic, which was recovered at Simic’s residence at the time of his arrest, along with a 9mm handgun. On December 2, 2009, Simic and Kunjundzic transported 80 cases of contraband cigarettes to New Jersey in exchange for $3,400 paid by the undercover agent.
From July 2009 through January 2010, Simic and Kunjundzic also distributed cocaine to the undercover agent and source. For example, on October 7, 2009, Simic and Kunjundzic delivered 114.5 grams of cocaine to the undercover agent, who paid them $6,520 for the cocaine and to transport and protect a delivery of contraband cigarettes. A portion of the cocaine was secreted in the shipment of contraband cigarettes. Similarly, on October 22, 2009, Simic and Kunjundzic delivered 244.3 grams of cocaine to the undercover agent, and on and November 12, 2009, they delivered 268.2 grams of cocaine, for which they were paid $13,800 and $4,000, respectively, for the cocaine and to transport contraband cigarettes. Simic was armed during each of the transactions.
From September 9, 2009 through at least January 26, 2010, Simic and Kunjundzic provided protection for eight shipments of contraband containing 575.5 master cases of cigarettes and were paid a total of $52,120, including the payments for the cocaine. The tax loss attributable to Simic relating to the illegal cigarette trafficking is $1,356,358, based on losses of $819,600 to Maryland, $122,940 to Virginia, and $413,818 to the federal government.
On February 26, 2014, Mirza Kunjundzic, age 33, of Woodbridge, Virginia, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI and IRS for their work in these investigations and expressed his appreciation to Prince George’s County Police Chief Mark A. Magaw for the assistance that he and his department provided. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys James A. Crowell, IV, A. David Copperthite, and Sujit Raman, who prosecuted the case.