A former field representative for Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn during her days in Congress was sentenced this week to 18 months in prison for bribery and attempted extortion after demanding and accepting $5,000 to prevent the closure of a Compton marijuana shop.
Michael Kimbrew, 45, of Santa Clarita was convicted in March.
Kimbrew, who lived in Carson when he was arrested in August 2017, attempted to extort the marijuana dispensary and threatened to shut down the shop if the owners did not pay him a $5,000 bribe, the US Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
In exchange for the payoff, Kimbrew promised to use his power as a federal employee and public official to help the shop obtain a permit to continue operating, according to court testimony officials said.
Prosecutors said Kimbrew claimed to “oversee all activities in Compton” and threatened the shop’s owners, as well as an employee. He was accused of later threatening an undercover FBI agent in recorded meetings that he was going to shut down the shop unless he received the bribe.
He claimed, as part of his federal employment for the Congress member, he had “authority” and “jurisdiction” over what Compton public officials and departments did. He was accused of promising to use that authority to help keep the shop running in exchange for the $5,000.
During a 2015 lunch meeting in Compton, Kimbrew accepted $5,000 in cash hidden inside a restaurant menu from the undercover agent, officials said, and he pledged his support to protect the shop.
In addition to the sentencing, Kimbrew was ordered to serve three years of supervised release, pay $5,000 in restitution and $4,000 in fees.
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