Former assistant district attorney receives probation, fine for deleting text messages

5 mins read

BANGOR – A former assistant district attorney for the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office received a suspended sentence and fine in federal district court yesterday, having previously pleaded guilty to tampering with documents in relation to text messages she deleted after telling a former law enforcement office that he was under investigation.

Kayla Alves, 37 of Farmington, was one of a dozen individuals charged last year as part of a federal investigation into a purported marijuana growing operation. While others have been charged with felony drug, money laundering, bank fraud, tampering and tax evasion charges, Alves was alleged to have informed a former Franklin County Sheriff’s Office deputy that investigators were looking into his activities, and later deleted text messages between herself and the deputy.

Alves, unlike the other defendants charged by the government, was not indicted prior to her guilty plea back in March. Others charged and later indicted in relation to the investigation have pleaded not guilty.

According to the government, Alves was working as an assistant district attorney in Franklin County in November 2019, when Bradley Scovil left the employ of the FCSO. Scovil, who was Alves’ neighbor, reportedly falsely told Alves that he was working with others to manufacture and distribute CBD products while it is alleged that he was in fact working with a marijuana growing and distribution operation that was under federal investigation.

Scovil repeatedly asked Alves to determine if he and his colleagues were under investigation, per the document. It cited an example from April 8, 2020 in which Scovil sent a message which said: “Would you know if I was being investigated by mdea or the state? I had someone follow me today from work, to the car wash, to the bank, and then back to work. It was a state vehicle because the plate didn’t come back on file …”

According to that same document, Alves responded, in part: “I wouldn’t have any idea if you’re being investigated, especially now since I’m working from home. If I hear anything I’ll let you know[.]”

According to the government, Alves later learned that Scovil was under investigation and informed Scovil. Alves and Scovil had been communicating via text messaging, according to the government, and after the FBI seized Alves’ phone in July 2020 they determined that those messages had been deleted.

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine, Darcie McElwee, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Noah Falk recommended in the government’s sentencing memorandum to the court that Alves be incarcerated for between zero and 6 months.

“The defendant’s crimes were extremely serious; a sitting state prosecutor violated her professional responsibilities and betrayed law enforcement confidences in her care in order to benefit the target of a significant and long-running federal criminal investigation,” the U.S. Attorneys wrote in the memorandum. “Her thoughtless actions required a response no less serious than her own criminal prosecution.”

However, the government recommended a shorter sentence than the one suggested by federal guidelines – 10 to 16 months based on the case’s factors – due to Alves’ acceptance of responsibility, the fact that she is a single mother of three children and her “lengthy career in public service,” which included several years overseas with the U.S. Army.

Alves’ attorney, Walter McKee, also pointed to Alves’ service with the military in the defense’s sentencing memorandum, noting she had received medals for her service in Iraq and had been promoted to the rank of sergeant prior to her honorable discharge in 2011. Alves had no criminal history at all, McKee wrote, and was devoted to her family. In addition to having previously lost her job at the district attorney’s office, McKee wrote that Alves’ ability to practice law in Maine could be impacted after the Board of Bar Overseers took up the matter after her conviction.

McKee asked that Alves receive probation rather than incarceration.

“Being placed on probation would further the interests of justice in that it would not require Kayla to be incarcerated,” McKee wrote, “while at the same time ensure that she remains on the straight and narrow path that, until this incident, is the only time she has ever strayed, albeit briefly and catastrophically.”

U.S. District Court Judge Lance Walker sentenced Alves to two years of probation and a $2,000 fine.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email