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Mom used job in U.S. Attorney’s office to help expose `snitches’ against her son: prosecutors

2019-08-14

(Right) Tawanna Hilliard, with ankle bracelet after being arraigned in Brooklyn Federal court. (Mikey Light/for New York Daily News)

A paralegal in the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Jersey used government equipment to expose witnesses who were cooperating against her son, a Brooklyn gang member who was charged in a robbery case, authorities said Tuesday.

Tawanna Hilliard, 44, was charged with witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy, according to a federal indictment that alleged she used her work computer to access and expose information about her son’s Brooklyn gang.

Prosecutors said in 2016, Hilliard posted on YouTube a videotaped post-arrest statement by her son’s co-defendant, a social media share that all but outed the defendant as a snitch.

She found the video in discovery material, and labeled it “NYC Brim Gang Member Snitching Pt. 1.” when she posted it online, prosecutors said.

Her son, Tyquan, is currently serving seven-to-10 years in prison.

After the video was posted, the witness began receiving death threats, according to the indictment.

In another message, she said the witness was “giving up murders, victims, shooters and all … SMH.”

She said online that what she posted was just “the tip of the iceberg," according to court papers.

The mom and her son were charged with witness tampering.

Hilliard pleaded not guilty and was released on $75,000 bond. She was ordered to wear a monitoring bracelet on her ankle, stay off social media, and turn in her passport.

She was also told to avoid contact with gang members — including her son.

Hilliard said she’d spoken with her son Tuesday, and that it was a “regular conversation.” She said they didn’t talk about the case.