Angelina Maestas, one of 13 people indicted in January on allegations related to methamphetamine and heroin trafficking, picked up a fresh charge of tampering with a witness or victim, the U.S Attorney’s Office announced.
Maestas was free on bond after having been indicted for drug possession and distribution. While free, she allegedly posted to Facebook investigatory information that contained the identity of an alleged co-conspirator who had cooperated with police. The information included grand jury materials and was protected by court order.
By allegedly posting the information to her Facebook page, Maestas potentially put “the targeted individual in danger,” the USAO said in a Tuesday announcement of Maestas’ May 5 arrest.
A separate investigation is underway to determine how Maestas, 33, obtained the information. A copy of the complaint against her was not immediately available.
She was ordered held without bond after a detention hearing Monday.
“I think it’s very serious,” Montrose Police Chief Blaine Hall said Tuesday. The police department, Montrose County Sheriff’s Office and 7th Judicial District Drug Task Force assisted federal agents in the lengthy investigation that led to the indictment of Maestas and 12 others.
“I’ve directed all of our officers, that if they come into contact with someone they suspect is sharing federally protected grand jury information, we are going to help initiate an investigation with the Drug Enforcement Administration. This is a very serious situation. At the very heart of it, it could put people’s lives in danger,” Hall said.
“When courts seal grand jury and investigatory documents they do so for good reason, including the protection of law enforcement personnel and witnesses,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. “Those who violate such orders risk lives and the ability of our courts to operate properly, and will prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Maestas is accused of being part of a large drug trafficking operation in the Montrose area involving the distribution of 50 grams or more of meth, 500 grams or more of a substance containing a detectable amount of meth, and less than 100 grams of heroin.
For her original charges, she faces 10 to life in federal prison and now, up to 20 years if she is convicted of tampering.
Her codefendants in the trafficking case were previously identified as: Omar Briceno-Quijano, 29; Ofelia Lopez, (age not confirmed); Luis Alberto Ibarra-Tadeo, 26; Romeo Lujan, 28; Joseph Davis, (age not confirmed); Naomi Vaughn, 35; Jonte LeFlore, 34; Dustin Debarris, 31; Steven Keith Jones, 33; Frank Arroyo, 44; Amanda Sumpter, 49 and Nicole Wickman, 36.