Former Federal Pretrial Services Employee Admits to Willfully Violating a Court Order Sealing an Indictment
GREENBELT, MD—Michelle Lee Davis, age 37, of Laurel, Maryland pleaded guilty today to criminal contempt.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gary Tuggle of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office.
Davis was an employee of the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services for the District of Maryland from February 1998 to October 2014. In recent years, including in April 2014, Davis served as an administrative technician with the Pretrial Services office in Greenbelt, in which she conducted record and criminal history checks of new defendants, scheduled initial appearances with a U.S. magistrate judge, and opened and closed files related to defendants on pretrial release.
According to her plea agreement, on March 24, 2014 a magistrate judge ordered the sealing of an indictment that charged two defendants with a drug conspiracy. The initial appearance of one of the charged defendants was held on April 15, 2014, at which time Davis learned of the defendant’s identity. Davis did not disclose to her supervisors or colleagues that she knew the defendant. During two telephone conversations that day, Davis disobeyed and resisted the court order sealing the indictment by disclosing the existence and details of the sealed indictment and the identity of the defendant charged in the sealed indictment, to an acquaintance of Davis and the defendant.
U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte has scheduled sentencing for September 18, 2015 at 9:30 a.m., at which time Davis faces a sentence of a fine or imprisonment, or both, within the court’s discretion.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI and DEA for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein praised the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services for their assistance in the investigation, and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly O. Hayes and Arun G. Rao, who are prosecuting the case.