A gang member’s mother, who worked at the U.S. attorney’s office in New Jersey, used government computers to identify and out people who were “snitching” on her son.
Tawanna Hilliard, a 44-year-old paralegal, was indicted on multiple charges including witness tampering, obstruction of justice and obtaining information from a government computer.
Federal prosecutors allege Tawanna Hilliard used her Department of Justice-issued equipment to search databases to help the 5-9 Brims by identifying and exposing cooperating witnesses. She is accused of conducting searches at the direction of high-ranking member of the Bloods set.
In an April 2016 call to Tyquan, Tawanna said she “looked up” criminal cases at the request of a gang member, who believed she could find out if someone “snitched” to authorities, court documents stated.
Tawanna also posted footage on YouTube showing a post-arrest video statement given by her son’s co-defendant, identified only as John Doe, about a May 2018 cell phone store robbery in Monticello, New York, according to court papers. She allegedly posted the video under the title “NYC Brim Gang Member Snitching Pt. 1.” to show the co-defendant was cooperating with law enforcement officials.
Investigators recovered text messages where Hilliard said Tyquan “has no line of defense because his co-d told everything,” according to documents filed in the case.
After the video was posted, the alleged accomplice received death threats from fellow inmates linked to the Bloods, according to prosecutors. The FBI also learned of death threats against John Doe’s family.
In another text message, she wrote “John Doe was ‘giving up murders, victims, shooters and all . . . SMH.’” court documents say.
Tawanna Hilliard has been released on $75,000 bond with electronic monitoring. She has been ordered not have contact with her son or any other gang members.
Hilliard’s son, Tyquan Hilliard, is a member of the 5-9 Brims set of the Bloods street gang.
He is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for robbery in a New York State Prison. Tyquan is also charged in the indictment.