Unsealed court documents have indicated that evidence of the crime of tampering with witnesses and informants was the cause of a search warrant executed on a Windham Selectman's home on Wednesday.
The search warrant was executed on Ross McLeod, who has been the subject of an investigation by the state Attorney General's Office for five months.
Allison P. Vachon is serving as lead investigator for the AG office on the matter.
According to Vachon's affidavit in support of the search warrant, she indicated that McLeod had advised several of the contacts in his fantasy football league to not respond to anyone from the AG office if contacted.
Those individuals involved with the fantasy league were identified in the documents as Greg Stickney, Bob Belanger, Ival Shields, Todd Craig, Phillip Vacheron, Mark Williamson and Hamid Ohadi.
Vachon said that it was Shields who informed her of McLeod's contact with the group after the investigation had begun:
Shields informed me that McLeod had been in e-mail communication with the fantasy sports participants in the days following the initiation of the Attorney General's investigation, informing the group of the Attorney General's investigation and not to respond to anyone if contacted. I requested that he forward me a copy of this e-mail and he stated that he would check his e-mail account.
Vachon initially contacted Shields and the other league participants on March 26, 2012.
She followed up with a second email to Shields and four other participants on April 16, 2012. The initial phone interview with Shields took place a day later.
Further in the affidavit, Vachon documents the evidence she gathered from the email sent by McLeod to the other league participants:
In the email, McLeod states: "I can't say too much while the AG's office has an open investigation, so suffice it to say that I greatly appreciate what all of you have emailed in response to this purely political exercise on the part of (Corey) Lewandowski and (Dennis) Hogan. I don't know if anyone will try to contact you via your email addresses. If anyone does, please let me know ASAP and do not respond to them.
According to a follow-up telephone interview that Vachon documented as having with Stickney, Ohadi had sent an email "concerned about Ross McLeod because they hadn't been able to reach him."
According to Vachon's conversation with Stickney, all league participants also received an email from Rusty Chadwick, McLeod's attorney. Chadwick told all participants that they should cooperate.
The criminal investigation was opened on Feb. 7, exactly three weeks before McLeod's email to the fantasy football league participants.
On April 27, 2012, Vachon said that she applied for a search warrant for Comcast Cable Communications for McLeod's personal email address.
The return on the search warrant did not contain the February 28, 2012 email Shields forwarded to me. Based on my training and experience, one of the reasons for this may be that McLeod deleted the email.
Vachon indicated that deleted emails may be stored on his computer and retreivable, which triggers the seizure of a MacBook Pro.
McLeod resides at 4 Nottingham Road. Also searched as part of the warrant were three vehicles either registered, in possessions or belonging to Ross McLeod or his wife Kenna – a 2011 Black Volvo 60 Sedan, a 1999 Red Audi A4 Sedan and a 2000 Maroon Toyota Sienna Van.
Seized in the investigation along with the MacBook Pro was a Verizon LG phone.
McLeod's emails involving the fantasy football league were initially released as part of a Right to Know request by resident and political activist, who is mentioned in the above email from McLeod.
The initial investigation was to determine whether McLeod running a gambling ring through a county email account.
Several conversations that Vachon had with the other league participants indicated that the league spawned as a paid league, but there has been no money involved with the league for three years.
Windham Patch will have more on this developing story.