UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WUSA) -- Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife Leslie face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to a federal indictment.
Jack and Leslie Johnson face tampering with witness charges; and destruction, falsification and altering of documents charges.
In an affidavit released Friday afternoon, F.B.I. agents described how they tapped the Johnsons' phone right before the raid was about to take place at just after 10:00 a.m.
"Tear up the check," the document stated, referring to Jack Johnson's demands to his wife, while federal agents were at the door of their Mitchellville, Md. home.
The check Johnson was telling his wife to tear up was a $100,000 bribe from developers, according to federal documents.
When police arrested Leslie Johnson, they found $79,600 in cash, in her underwear, according to the sworn federal affidavit.
The F.B.I. agents also claim Johnson received $5,000 on November 5th, from developers to use his influence to get them bids in projects, according to the document. The documents state Johnson received $15,000 more Friday morning in the first leg of the raid.
Federal agents confronted Johnson after a meeting they say was captured on videotape. They say he claimed the money was for a party he was throwing at the end of his term as County Executive. They let him go.
But agents say Jack Johnson almost immediately called his wife on his wiretapped cell phone and told her to tear up the check in the underwear draw in their room, federal agents said in the sworn statement. She tore up the check and flushed it.
"Do you want me to put it down the toilet?," Leslie Johnson asked, according to the affidavit. Then agents heard the sound of a toilet flush over the wire-tap.
They each face 20 years if convicted of all charges, and three years of supervised release. They are also facing fines of, no more than, $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein says he expects to charge additional defendents. And FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard McFeely issued a blunt warning: If you're involved in "pay to play, it's far better to talk to us now than for us to come knocking at your door."
The allegations of pay to play involving county officials and developers in Prince George's go back years. A lawsuit by a New Carrollton developer alleges a number of county councilmembers were involved.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland confirmed Jack Johnson's arrest earlier Friday. A 9NEWS NOW crew was at Johnson's home when he was put in a car and driven away Friday afternoon. Neighbors at the scene said they were surprised by the arrest. A plumber outside the home told 9NEWS NOW that he was at the home to "check the plumbing and some toilets...for some evidence, I guess."
Rep. Donna Edwards issued a statement Friday afternoon about the arrest. In the statement, she says: "The arrest of Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson is in the hands of law enforcement and the court system. I am saddened personally by these developments and look forward to a fair and just resolution. However, my primary concern remains that the needs of residents of Prince George's County continue to be met at all levels of government."
Johnson's arrest follows news that the FBI is conducting multiple raids in Prince George's County.
According to sources, the raids are taking place at the County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro and the homes of several county leaders.
Johnson has served as county executive since 2002. His wife, Leslie, was elected earlier this month to a seat on the Prince George's County Council.
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