nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
Archives | Subscribe | Guide to the Daily

Local News arrow City of Winchester arrow Courts & Legal News arrow Crime & Public Safety

| 2 | 0 Comments

Thomson indicted on six counts

* Breaking News

If local news is breaking and you know about it:
* Call Us: 800-296-5137
* E-mail Us
* Upload Your Photos

Attorney charged with cocaine possession, evidence and witness tampering

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com and J.R. Williams -- jrwilliams@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG -- A federal grand jury indicted local attorney and former chief Winchester prosecutor Paul H. Thomson on Thursday on witness tampering, evidence tampering and cocaine possession charges.

Thomson, 56, of South Loudoun Street, Winchester, was indicted on one count each of evidence tampering, conspiracy to tamper with evidence and altering documents to influence a federal investigation, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Harrisonburg.

He also was indicted on two counts of witness tampering and one count of cocaine possession.

Thomson's assistant, Nannette S. Boden, 35, also was indicted Thursday. She faces one count each of conspiracy to tamper with evidence, evidence tampering, altering documents to influence a federal investigation and cocaine distribution.

The indictments accuse the pair of altering a phone company record on Aug. 28.

Thomson is accused of "attempting to corruptly persuade" a man named Oscar Salvatierra-Jovel on Nov. 24 and Jan. 9 to give false information to investigators with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Salvatierra-Jovel, formerly of Thomas Court, Winchester, was arrested on cocaine distribution charges with three others in August as part of a three-month investigation by local and federal authorities. The Frederick County Sheriff's Office said at the time the men were in the country illegally and some had ties to the MS-13 gang. Salvatierra-Jovel was described as the main target of the operation.

It could not be confirmed whether Thomson's charges are directly related to Salvatierra-Jovel's pending drug case in U.S. District Court. However, Thomson replaced an assistant federal public defender as counsel for Salvatierra-Jovel on Dec. 10, according to court documents.

That appointment was reversed seven days later by U.S. Judge Glen E. Conrad after Salvatierra-Jovel requested to be represented by the public defender. Conrad set a Jan. 10 hearing to settle the matter.

The court informed Salvatierra-Jovel on Jan. 10 that Thomson would not be present. The same day, authorities arrested Thomson and charged him with one count each of tampering with a witness and conspiracy to tamper with evidence in a federal drug investigation. They charged Boden with one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence.

Thomson and Boden since have posted bond and face preliminary hearings Monday.

Meanwhile, Winchester Circuit Judge John Wetsel Jr. has postponed Thomson's cases in the city and Clarke County circuit courts for at least a month, according to a letter dated Thursday.

Judge John R. Prosser has postponed all of Thomson's cases in Frederick County Circuit Court to Feb. 22, but did not issue a written statement, according to Clerk Rebecca Hogan. Judge Dennis L. Hupp, who presides over circuit courts in Shenandoah and Warren counties, had not made a decision later that day, according to the judge's secretary.

Wetsel stated in a letter to U.S. Magistrate Judge James G. Welsh, dated Thursday, that he would continue "all substantive court proceedings, such as trials and entry of guilty pleas and judgments, until after Feb. 21."

Wetsel and Thomson, accompanied by his attorneys, J. Benjamin Dick and John Flannery, met Wednesday afternoon in the judge's chambers at the Winchester-Frederick County Joint Judicial Center.

Welsh had ordered Thomson, as a condition of release on bond, to apprise Wetsel of his situation in the federal court and meet with the circuit judge.

"Given the present posture of this case, my authority to regulate Mr. Thomson's practice of law is limited to those courts in which I regularly preside," Wetsel states.

The judge also notes Thomson, as a result of the conference, and with respect to his practice in the Winchester and Clarke County circuit courts, has agreed to comply with the conditions imposed by Welsh. Also, Thomson has agreed to "submit to examination by appropriate health care providers and substance abuse counselors and comply with any regimen of treatment recommended by them."

Thomson cannot currently practice law in the Western District of Virginia per a special condition of his bond as set by Welsh.

Wetsel stated he made his decision after reviewing the criminal complaint, supporting affidavit, conditions of release and other documents, all filed with the federal district court and also faxed to his office.

Wetsel also faxed the documents to legal counsel for the Virginia State Bar who advised the judge the organization "is monitoring the situation," the letter states.

"In the event that you find that Mr. Thomson has violated any of his conditions of release, I would ask that you immediately advise me of that fact," it says.

Leave a comment

What do you think?

(You may use HTML tags for style)


Comments that are posted on nvdaily.com represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com.

Comments that contain Web addresses, e-mail addresses, personal attacks, name-calling or personal information considered by the editor to be inappropriate for posting here will not be posted.

Commenters agree to abide by our COMMENTS POLICY when posting. Questions? E-mail us at info@nvdaily.com.


Local News Sections

2010: Year in Review Agriculture Apple Blossom Festival Basye Berryville Big Picture Bob Wooten Books Boyce Breaking News Business Business Spotlight City of Winchester Clarke County Cockfighting Case College Corrections Courthouse Notes Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Economy and Jobs Edinburg Edward N. Bell Entertainment Entertainment Spotlight Environment Fall 2010 Farms Feature Photos Featured Festivals Financial Fire & Rescue Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal General Assembly Hard Times Health History Holidays Homes In The Spotlight Jody Lynn Bradley Justin Shane Slater Ledger Library Livestock Local Government Local Markets Local Sports Matt Pallister Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mt. Jackson New Market New Market Fire Department Page County Pets & Animals Politics Power Line Quicksburg Religion School News Shenandoah County Solar Farm Staff Picks Star Tannery Stephens City Strasburg Swine Flu The Year in Review Toms Brook Tourism Traffic & Transportation Upcoming Events Video In The Spotlight Volunteer Rescue Squads Warren County Weather Woodstock

News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Homes | Classifieds
Guide to the Daily: Advertise | Circulation | Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

The best small daily newspaper in Virginia!

nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com