Monmouth County Woman Charged with Witness Tampering and Retaliating Against Witness
TRENTON, N.J. – A Monmouth County woman has been charged with witness tampering and retaliating against a witness or informant, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.
Kaitlyn R. Powers, 32, of Aberdeen, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with two counts of retaliating against a witness or informant and one count of witness tampering. Powers is expected to appear by videoconference later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
During an FBI investigation, a confidential source working at the direction and supervision of law enforcement conducted multiple controlled purchases of suspected narcotics, including crack cocaine, from Richard N. Edwards Jr., of Old Bridge, New Jersey. During one of the controlled purchases, Powers distributed suspected narcotics to the confidential source after the confidential source arranged to purchase the suspected narcotics from Edwards. On April 6, 2021, special agents of the FBI arrested Edwards and one of his narcotics suppliers, Jamil J. Yasin of East Orange, New Jersey, on a complaint that charged Edwards and Yasin each with distribution and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. The next day, Powers confronted the confidential source in a parking lot of a convenience store in Cliffwood Beach and threatened, among other things, to have the confidential source killed in retaliation for Edwards’s and Yasin’s arrests. Powers also threatened to kill the confidential source in the event Powers were to be charged with a federal crime. Two days later, Powers again confronted the confidential source in the parking lot of a commercial establishment in Cliffwood, New Jersey, and again threatened the confidential source for the confidential source’s assistance during law enforcement’s investigation of Edwards and Yasin.
The charges of retaliating against a witness or informant each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of witness tampering carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI Red Bank Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges. She also thanked the Matawan, New Jersey, Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Thomas J. Falco Jr., for its assistance in the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian D. Brater of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charges and allegations against the defendants are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.