Former Federal Grand Juror Sentenced after Pleading Guilty to Obstruction of Justice
Columbia, South Carolina --- United States Attorney Peter M. McCoy, Jr., announced today that Alicia Renee Coleman, 51, of Rock Hill, was sentenced in federal court after pleading guilty last fall to a felony charge of obstruction of justice.
“The integrity of our grand jury process is vital to our mission of protecting the people of South Carolina and upholding the rule of law,” said U.S. Attorney McCoy. “As this case makes clear, if you violate the secrecy of grand jury proceedings, you will be prosecuted.”
Evidence presented to the court showed that in early June 2018, Coleman communicated secret federal grand jury information concerning an indictment and upcoming arrests in case involving a drug trafficking organization in the Rock Hill and Charlotte regions, United States v. Hemphill, et al.
Coleman learned the information in her capacity while serving as a federal grand juror and communicated the information to a family member in violation of a court order. Law enforcement quickly learned of the leak, which had made its way to targets of the investigation, and as a result changed the date of the upcoming takedown in the case. Investigators were able to track down the source of the leak and thereafter, Coleman was relieved of her duties as a federal grand juror and admitted to sharing the information with a family member.
United States District Court Judge Mary Geiger Lewis sentenced Coleman, who had no prior record, to a 3-year term of probation. The charge against Coleman was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stacey D. Haynes, after an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).