The Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued an order recently that suspended a former Franklin County assistant district attorney from practicing law for nine months in the wake of her guilty plea last March for tampering with documents in connection with an illegal marijuana distribution and money laundering scheme.

After being charged in connection to the federal case in 2021, Kayla Alves, 37, reached an agreement with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to one count of tampering with documents, a charge punishable by up to 20 years in prison and maximum fine of $250,000.

She ultimately got two years probation and a $2,000 fine after admitting she told a former law enforcement officer he was under investigation and for deleting text messages with him.

Following her sentencing, Alves notified the Board of Overseers of the Bar, which governs the legal profession in Maine.

“Given that Alves’ conviction establishes conclusively that Alves committed a ‘serious crime’ involving interference with the administration of justice,” the state court said, the only issue left for judges was to determine the “appropriate sanction that reflects the seriousness of the conduct involved.”

In its sanctions order, the court said Alves “knowingly destroyed evidence during the course of a criminal investigation,” an act she would have known was seriously improper given her role as an assistant district attorney.

On the other hand, the court said, Alves was not charged with substantive crimes related to the investigation and had no prior history of wrongdoing. Nor did she have any role in the probe itself, it said.

The judges concluded that suspension was the appropriate penalty.

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