A former staffer for a member of Congress was arrested Wednesday on federal extortion and bribery charges. after allegedly taking $5,000 with promises of helping to prevent the closure of a Compton marijuana shop.
He allegedly took $5,000 with promises of helping to prevent the closure of a Compton marijuana shop, according to officials.
Michael Kimbrew, 44, of Carson, was arrested without incident by special agents with the FBI.
Kimbrew was arrested pursuant to a two-count indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury on July 21 and unsealed this afternoon. Kimbrew is charged with one count of attempted extortion and one count of receiving a bribe, according to officials.
At his arraignment this afternoon, Kimbrew plead not guilty and was ordered freed on a $15,000 bond. He was ordered to stand trial on Sept. 26.
According to the indictment, Kimbrew approached an employee of the marijuana shop, told him the store was violating the law and said the shop would be shut down – unless the owners reached an agreement with him, officials said.
Kimbrew subsequently met with the owners of the marijuana shop inside Compton City Hall.
The indictment alleges that Kimbrew claimed to be working with the FBI, and he could “make things happen” by ensuring the store had the appropriate permits in exchange for $5,000, according to the indictment.
According to the indictment, an undercover FBI agent posing as a business partner met with Kimbrew, who reiterated his claims he could prevent the shutdown of the shop in exchange for $5,000.
In the second meeting between Kimbrew and the undercover agent, Kimbrew allegedly accepted the $5,000 bribe, according to officials.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
If convicted of the two counts in the indictment, Kimbrew is facing up to 18 years in federal prison.