The Department of Justice revealed that one of its own helped out the Bloods street gang by repeatedly identifying informants and cooperating witnesses.
Tawanna Hilliard works in an administrative role for the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, court documents say. According to the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, over a period of more than two years, Hilliard used her access to information to help her son Tyquan Hilliard, 28, and his gang, the 5-9 Brims set of the Bloods.
Authorities have charged the Hilliards with six felony counts: witness tampering and harassment, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to tamper with a witness. Each carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.
Tawanna Hilliard is also charged with illegally obtaining information from a protected government computer.
Hilliard pleaded not guilty and is out on bail. Son Tyquan Hilliard has not yet been arraigned because he is currently in “New York state prison serving the remainder of an 11-year sentence for robbery and assault.”
The plan began in 2016 when “a high-ranking member” of the gang told Tawanna Hilliard to use her position at work to find out who was cooperating with authorities. Law enforcement discovered what the duo was up to when they heard the content of their phone calls. Tyquan Hilliard was serving time for possession of a loaded firearm and all prison phone calls are monitored by authorities.
Tawanna Hilliard is also accused of looking up information on the gang member who allegedly told her to report back on informants. In another prison call, the mother and son discussed other gang members who would “use violence” against that “high-ranking member,” the documents say. Tyquan was irritated that the member involved his mother.
The district attorney also says that after Tyquan’s release from prison, when he was arrested in connection with a store robbery, his mother tried to intimidate accomplices who had confessed.
Two anonymous individuals involved with Tyquan’s robbery revealed additional information to authorities. Tawanna Hilliard is accused of uploading the videos of the individuals confessing, revealing their cooperation with authorities. The families of the informants received threats after the videos were uploaded.