| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 10, 2004
| CRT |
TDD (202) 514-1888
SANDRA MARIE ANDERSON PLEADS GUILTY TO FALSIFYING MATERIAL FACTS, OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE AND FALSE REPRESENTATIONS IN VIOLATION OF THE FEDERAL CRIMINAL LAWS
Detroit, Michigan - Jeffrey G. Collins, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan and R. Alexander Acosta, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice announced today that 43year-old Sandra Marie Anderson of Sanford, Michigan, pleaded guilty yesterday to multiple felonies including obstruction of justice and making false statements to federal authorities.
The plea agreement follows a wide-ranging federal investigation into a pattern of fraudulent behavior by Anderson, a cadaver canine handler who had worked with federal and state authorities on numerous investigations. The investigation revealed that Anderson had repeatedly planted human remains, fibers and items stained with her own blood, which she then represented as evidence. During the course of the investigation, Anderson made false statement to authorities in an attempt to cover up her wrongdoing.
Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights R. Alexander Acosta stated, "The defendant's actions seriously undermined the ability of dedicated law enforcement officials to investigate crimes and bring those responsible to justice. We are grateful for the cooperation of all the law enforcement agencies that helped to bring this matter to closure."
United States Attorney Jeffrey G. Collins stated, "This case represents a clear demonstration of the Department of Justice's goal of ensuring that all criminal investigations throughout this country attain and maintain the highest honorable and professional standards."
Between June 2001 and April 2002, Anderson participated in several searches with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and local law enforcement, as part of an investigation into the disappearance of woman who was suspected to have been murdered and/or buried in the Huron National Forest in Michigan. In April of 2002, a crime scene technician witnessed Anderson fraudulently planting a bone in Huron National Forest. Anderson was arrested, and a subsequent investigation revealed that Anderson had planted false evidence at numerous search scenes in several other investigations.
The total maximum statutory sentence for these violations is 30 years. However, the actual sentence will be imposed under the Sentencing Guidelines.
The case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Michigan State Police; Ohio State Police; Oakland County, Michigan Sheriff Department; Oscoda Township, Michigan Police Department; Bay City, Michigan Police Department; Plymouth, Michigan Police Department; Monroe County, Michigan Sheriff Department; Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation; Toledo, Ohio Police Department; Fulton County, Ohio Sheriff Department; Caddo Parish, Louisiana Coroner's Office; Shreveport, Louisiana Fire Department; Oakland County Homicide and Major Crime Task Force and the Armed Forces Institute of DNA in Maryland.
The plea was before the Honorable Denise Page Hood, United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan. A sentencing date has not yet been set.