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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 20, 2015

Daniel Sands Arrested And Charged With Retaliation Against A Federal Witness

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- On Nov. 20, 2015, Daniel Sands was arrested and charged in a criminal complaint with engaging in conduct with the intent to retaliate against a witness who testified against his father in an official court proceeding in U.S. District Court. 

An initial appearance was held this afternoon before the Honorable H. Bruce Guyton, U.S. Magistrate Judge, at which time the government asked that Sands be detained pending trial on the charge against him. Sands agreed to sign a detention hearing waiver and will remain in custody until a preliminary hearing scheduled for 2:30 p.m., on Dec. 2, 2015, in U.S. District Court. 

According to the complaint and accompanying affidavit on file with the U.S District Court, on Nov. 17, 2015, the government called David Walker as a witness to testify in the trial of U.S. v. Leonard Sands, in U.S District Court in Knoxville.  It is alleged that on that same evening, Daniel Sands, son of the defendant Leonard Sands, sent a threatening  instant message to the witness via Facebook messenger. The affidavit further alleges that on Nov. 19, 2015, Daniel Sands posted other indirect threats of violence to “snitches” on his Facebook page. Details of the four Facebook posts are included in the affidavit and attachments thereto.

The investigation in this case is being led by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cynthia Davidson and Jennifer Kolman represent the United States.

Members of the public are reminded that a complaint constitutes only a charge and that every person is presumed innocent until his or her guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Updated November 20, 2015