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Former West Virginia parole officer sentenced for witness tampering

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A former West Virginia regional director of parole for the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation in Parkersburg, West Virginia, was sentenced yesterday in federal court in the Southern District of West Virginia to 87 months’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release for witness tampering.

David Jones, 51, admitted that earlier this year, he deliberately withheld information and lied to state and federal investigators during their investigations of sexual misconduct by a state parole officer whom Jones supervised. Jones also admitted that, on multiple occasions from 2020 to this year, he repeatedly instructed a witness in the same investigation to lie to federal investigators and to destroy and withhold evidence. Specifically, Jones admitted both that he encouraged the witness to delete recordings she had of the parole officer sexually harassing her and he instructed the witness to delete evidence of his communications with her.

“The defendant interfered with state and federal investigations of egregious sexual misconduct by a state parole officer the defendant was supposed to supervise,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously investigate and hold accountable individuals who obstruct and interfere with federal criminal civil rights investigations.” 

“David Jones’ attempt to cover up Anthony DeMetro’s reprehensible conduct makes the victim’s courage all the more commendable,” said U.S. Attorney Will Thompson for the Southern District of West Virginia. “Far too often, survivors of crime don’t seek justice because they are afraid that no one will believe them or that those in authority will betray them as David Jones tried to do in this case. We must be relentless in holding individuals like Mr. Jones accountable for their misconduct while ensuring that survivors are heard, believed, and supported.”

“Mr. Jones crossed a line and abused his position of public trust by asking a witness to lie and delete evidence in a criminal investigation,” said Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall of the FBI Pittsburgh Field Office. “As the Regional Director of Parole in West Virginia, he was entrusted to uphold the law. Instead, he attempted to use his official capacity to influence a sexual misconduct investigation. This sentencing is a reminder that the FBI is committed to ensuring those who violate the public’s trust are held accountable.”

The FBI Pittsburgh Field Office investigated the case.

Special Litigation Counsel Kathryn E. Gilbert and Trial Attorney Daniel E. Grunert of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Monica Coleman and Nowles Heinrich for the Southern District of West Virginia prosecuted the case.

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