A former Franklin County assistant district attorney was sentenced Wednesday to two years of probation and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine for her role in an alleged illegal $13 million marijuana operation in western Maine.
Kayla Alves, 36, was among a handful of public officials who faced charges in connection with the sprawling marijuana operation run by Lucas Sirois of Farmington. She was among 13 people charged in connection with the operation, and among the first to be sentenced.
Alves deleted text messages that showed she alerted her neighbor, former Franklin County sheriff’s deputy 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 the state and outside of Maine, according to federal prosecutors.
She pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with documents as part of a plea agreement in March.
Ahead of Alves’ sentencing, federal prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Lance Walker to sentence the former prosecutor to between zero and six months in jail, a sentence well under federal sentencing guidelines for the charge to which she pleaded guilty, according to court records.
In the government’s sentencing memo, federal prosecutors said Alves’ conduct was “extremely serious” and “betrayed her law enforcement confidences in her care” by abusing her position as an assistant district attorney to gain information and tip off suspected criminals of a federal investigation, according to court records.
Despite the seriousness of Alves’ actions, federal prosecutors asked the judge for a lower sentence because Alves admitted to the charges, is a single mother of three children, and has an extensive background in civil service.
Alves’ attorney, Walter McKee, asked the judge to consider a sentence with no time behind bars and only probation.
Alves sat in the courtroom facing Walker with her father, aunt and cousin behind her. She wiped tears away as McKee spoke about her time in the military.
Alves spoke before Walker made his final decision as to whether she should face time behind bars. In her comments, Alves apologized to the government, her family and former coworkers, but most of all to her children.
“I think that all parents want to believe our children will see us for our best selves, but for me, I know one way or another [my children’s] view will forever be jaded, and I have to live with that,” she said.
Walker said when considering what sentence to give Alves he took into consideration her entire life, which has otherwise been highlighted by constant service and sacrifice dating back to her time serving in the Army.
“This seems clearly to have been a singular lapse in a life that has otherwise been hallmarked by honor and sacrifice,” he said.
Ultimately, Walker said he felt sentencing Alves to time behind bars was not justified.
“I find no purpose to have you serve any time in a jail cell,” Walker said. “It would only serve an appetite for retribution.”
Alves was fired from her job on Oct. 29, 2021, after she was charged with one count of tampering with proceedings and one count of tampering with documents that same month. She had served as an assistant district attorney since 2018.
Alves’ firing came two days after it was made public that she and 12 others were charged in connection with the marijuana operation.
Randal 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.