A former Franklin County assistant district attorney who was one of 13 people facing charges last fall connected to an alleged illegal $13 million marijuana operation in western Maine has pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with documents.
Kayla Alves, 36, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor, according to court records.
Alves was among a handful of public officials who faced charges in connection with the sprawling marijuana operation run by Lucas Sirois of Farmington.
Alves had deleted text messages alerting her neighbor, Bradley Scovil, that federal authorities were investigating him and another former Franklin County sheriff’s deputy, Derrick Doucette, for their roles in a conspiracy to help Sirois sell $13 million worth of illegal marijuana in state and outside of Maine, according to federal prosecutors.
Another count of tampering with prosecution against Alves was dismissed, according to Alves’ attorney, Walter McKee of Augusta. Prosecutors will recommend a sentence of up to six months’ imprisonment and a supervised release period of up to three years, according to court documents, though McKee does not expect her to serve that long. She may also have to pay a fine up to $250,000.
Andrew Robinson, the district attorney for Franklin, Androscoggin and Oxford counties, said that Alves was fired on Oct. 29. She had previously been placed on administrative leave.
Alves’ firing came two days after it was made public that she and 12 others were charged after defendant Randal Cousineau pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to illegally cultivate and sell marijuana.
Cousineau financed and was co-owner of an illegal marijuana cultivation facility in Farmington and also held an interest in an illegal marijuana distribution company.
Scovil and Doucette were accused of leveraging their positions as former Franklin County sheriff’s deputies to give Sirois confidential law enforcement information in exchange for interests in his business and brand-new “company cars.”
Two other law enforcement officers, Wilton police Officer Kevin Lemay and former Oxford County sheriff’s deputy James McLamb, used databases to alert Scovil and Doucette that they were under investigation.
McLamb was manager of the Oxford County town of Dixfield at the time he was charged. He was later fired.
McKee said that his client quickly regretted tipping off Scovil after she texted him in July 2020 informing him that federal authorities were investigating Sirois.
“She realized quickly that she should not have even passed this along and deleted her text messages that said that,” McKee said, adding that Alves wasn’t a part of the conspiracy and believed what Scovil was doing was above board.
“Kayla feels terrible that she got involved with any of this, even in this small way. But she is a strong person — she’s a single mother of three boys and an Army veteran — and she will get through this.”