Montrose Woman Arrested For Witness Intimidation After Sharing Court Ordered Protected Information
Angelina Maestas posted material identifying a cooperator on Facebook
DENVER – United States Attorney Jason R. Dunn announced that Angelina Maestas, age 33, of Montrose, Colorado, who was free on bond after earlier being charged with drug possession and distribution, has now been charged with witness, victim or informant tampering. The Denver Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration joined in today’s announcement.
According to an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Maestas was wrongly in possession of discovery documents protected by court order, including Grand Jury and investigative materials from a case where she was charged with possession and distribution of methamphetamine and heroin. The material she possessed included the identity of at least one co-conspirator who she alleged was a person who cooperated with police. She shared the protected material with friends on her Facebook page in violation of a court order, potentially putting the targeted individual in danger.
“When courts seal grand jury and investigatory documents they do so for good reason, including the protection of law enforcement personnel and witnesses,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. “Those who violate such orders risk lives and the ability of our courts to operate properly, and will prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
There is a separate investigation underway to determine how the defendant received the court ordered protected material. Maestas was arrested on May 5th for this criminal charge. On May 6, 2020, she made her initial appearance where she was advised of her rights and the charges pending against her. On May 11, 2020, she was ordered held without bond following a detention hearing.
Maestas was one of the thirteen defendants who conspired with each other and others known and unknown to the grand jury to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine, 500 grams or more of a mixture of a substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, and less than 100 grams of heroin.
She faces not less than 10 years and up to life in federal prison for the original case. She faces not more than 20 years for witness, victim or informant tampering.
Discovery is a pre-trial procedure in which each party obtains evidence from the other party.
The charges contained in the criminal complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
A criminal complaint is a probable cause charging document. Any one charged by complaint has a Constitutional right to be indicted by a federal grand jury.