Former Congressional Aide Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison After Shakedown of Compton Marijuana Dispensary
A 45-year-old Santa Clarita man and former staffer for then-Rep. Janice Hahn was sentenced to 18 months in prison for demanding and accepting $5,000 to stop a Compton marijuana dispensary from closing, authorities said.
Michael Kimbrew was sentenced on Monday for the bribery and attempted extortion of the dispensary, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The conversations with the dispensary began in March 2015 when Kimbrew worked out of Compton City Hall, according to the L.A. Times. Hawn’s spokeswoman also told the newspaper he worked for her for about a year before he was let go in early 2016.
Kimbrew promised to use his federal-employee status to get the dispensary a permit to stay in business if they paid him off, according to court testimony.
He also claimed to “oversee all activities in Compton,” according to trial evidence, and would close the dispensary if he didn’t receive the $5,000 bribe.
Kimbrew made the threats to an undercover FBI agent, the dispensary’s owners and a shop employee, according to authorities.
Later, during a lunch meeting in Compton with an undercover agent, he accepted the cash stashed inside of a restaurant menu and said he would give his “undying support” to protect the dispensary.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case.
Kimbrew will serve three years of supervised release and pay $5,000 in restitution and $4,000 in fines in addition to the prison time.
He is the son of former Compton Unified School District board member Basil Kimbrew, according to the L.A. Times.
In 2005, according to the newspaper, the father had to leave his post after he was convicted of misappropriating funds when he charged almost $2,000 on his school board credit card to pay for a private party.