Anne Arundel Sheriff's employee charged with aiding gang now faces federal charge

An Anne Arundel County Sheriff’s Office employee who was charged with aiding 10 gang members now faces a charge of obstructing a federal investigation.

In a new filing in U.S. District Court Thursday, Chanel Holland, a 36-year-old Glen Burnie resident who was a civilian employee with the sheriff’s office, was charged with one count of obstructing an official proceeding.

Holland was charged in June in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court with obstructing justice and illegally accessing a computer.

The new filing reveals little about the investigation into Holland and does not say the charge is linked to her alleged leaking of sealed indictments to 10 suspected gang members.

Anne Arundel County police wrote in those charging documents she used her position to access sealed indictments for 10 alleged gang members and informed them about the upcoming charges.

Sheriff Ron Bateman said at the time she was removed from the office and he would “let the criminal justice system control this employee’s destiny.”

The federal charge only says Holland “did corruptly obstruct, influence, and impede … an investigation of a federal grand jury” and makes no mention of the previous charge or gang members.

However, the dates prosecutors say she allegedly committed the crime — “from the latest April 12, 2018 through at least June 11, 2018” — are consistent with the timeline Anne Arundel police originally said she aided alleged gang members.

Anne Arundel police wrote in their initial charging documents the 10 people were charged under a sealed indictment on June 8.

On June 11, the first business day after the sealed indictments were filed, police wrote the “defendants each knew they had pending criminal charges for their arrests.” Charging documents state Holland ran the names of the defendants through a secure judiciary database and made several phone calls to the 10 people.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to say whether the two investigations are linked. An initial appearance scheduled in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court for the county-related charges scheduled on Oct. 10 has been canceled, court records show.

Holland’s alleged cooperation with a gang was one of a slew of issues Bateman battled while he unsuccessfully ran for a fourth term.

In addition to Holland being charged just days before the June primary, a county auditor found the office failed to collect $111,000 in fees.

The auditor wrote Bateman’s office did not establish “adequate internal controls over receiving and safeguarding cash receipts,” creating a system vulnerable to theft.

Bateman also investigated Lawrence Scott, a top aide to Republican Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Wes Adams, for months prior to his leaving in March to run Adams’ re-election campaign.

The investigation — which Bateman’s office outlined in a daily log of Scott’s appearances at the State’s Attorney’s Office — came after several news articles detailed Scott’s work on political campaigns while employed by Adams.

However, the surveillance of a county employee by Bateman raised questions as to whether the sheriff had jurisdiction to do so. The Sheriff’s Office is in charge of security of the courthouse and can act in an investigative capacity when needed.

Bateman lost the Republican primary election to Jim Fredericks, a commander in the Anne Arundel County Police Department, ensuring the county will have a new sheriff after November’s general election.

This story has been clarified to reflect the nature of the filing in U.S. District Court.
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