Aberdeen Township resident faces federal charges

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A resident of Aberdeen Township has been charged with witness tampering and retaliating against a witness or informant, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced on May 14.

Kaitlyn R. Powers, 32, is charged by complaint with two counts of retaliating against a witness or informant and one count of witness tampering, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court, during an FBI investigation, a confidential source working at the direction and supervision of law enforcement conducted multiple controlled purchases of suspected narcotics, including crack cocaine, from Richard N. Edwards Jr. of Old Bridge.

During one of the controlled purchases, Powers allegedly distributed suspected narcotics to the confidential source after the confidential source arranged to purchase the suspected narcotics from Edwards.

On April 6, special agents of the FBI arrested Edwards and one of his alleged narcotics suppliers, Jamil J. Yasin of East Orange, on a complaint that charged Edwards and Yasin each with distribution and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

On April 7, Powers allegedly confronted the confidential source in a parking lot of a convenience store in Cliffwood Beach and threatened, among other things, to have the confidential source killed in retaliation for Edwards’ and Yasin’s arrests.

Powers also allegedly threatened to kill the confidential source in the event Powers were to be charged with a federal crime.

On April 9, Powers again allegedly confronted the confidential source in the parking lot of a commercial establishment in Cliffwood and again threatened the confidential source for the confidential source’s assistance during law enforcement’s investigation of Edwards and Yasin.

According to the press release, the charges of retaliating against a witness or informant each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of witness tampering carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.