Man gets 37 months in federal prison for intimidating witness on Facebook
POSTED MAY 17, 2016 11:55 AM CDT
That’s because Daniel Ray Sands, 32, sent a witness in his father’s case an intimidating Facebook message and put memes indirectly threatening “snitches” on his own account. He was sentenced Monday to 37 months, reports the Knoxville News Sentinel.
His Facebook Messenger communication to the witness said: “I’ll be sure to pay back the faver [sic]. Thanks, you little [expletive]. Daddy was good to u. C U around,” an earlier Knoxville News Sentinel article reported.
“This is obstruction of justice,” senior U.S. District Judge Leon Jordan of the Eastern District of Tennessee told Sands on Monday, adding: “We need to send a message to others that if you do the crime, you do the time.”
Sands pleaded guilty in January to a charge of obstructing justice by threatening to retaliate against a witness. His lawyer, Karmen Waters, argued for a lighter sentence since there was no direct threat, and the witness—who was already in protective custody due to an earlier attack on him and his home in which Sands is not accused of involvement—was not at risk of actual harm.
The father, Leonard Sands, was convicted of drug conspiracy and money laundering charges in a November trial.
A news release in November by the U.S. Department of Justice provides more information about the case against Daniel Ray Sands.