3 charged with witness tampering in 'Good Times Gallery' case
A Burlington business owner accused of selling marijuana from his Church Street shop faces new federal charges.
Times are not good for the owner of Good Times Gallery. And Friday, they got even worse. He and two relatives are now accused of witness tampering in the case.
Who smeared poop on a Church Street business's door? Investigators last month said it was Derek Spilman retaliating after the other business owner cooperated with police.
But according to a criminal complaint filed this week in federal court, now Spilman's mother, Donna Mahar, and nephew Derek Aviles are all facing charges for trying to mislead investigators about who did it.
We met Mahar outside federal court in January swearing and swatting at our TV cameras the day her son was arraigned on the first charges of illegally selling marijuana out of his Church Street smoke shop.
The next month, Spilman was back, now accused of intimidating a witness, "Full Tank" owner Stephen Sclafani. Police say Spilman smeared dog poop on Sclafani's business and put up signs claiming Sclafani has a criminal record.
It was the poop-smearing that investigators say Spilman didn't want to take the fall for.
So he, his mother and nephew allegedly met with a witness and, over lunch at the Windjammer, tried to convince that witness to lie to the feds and take the blame. When the witness refused, investigators say Aviles agreed to call investigators and say he did it.
But surveillance photos helped investigators unravel the mystery. Investigators noted the man in an image from Red Square's cameras doesn't have Aviles' facial hair and they say he looks like Spilman. When investigators confronted Aviles about that, he asked to speak with a lawyer.
Both Spilman and Aviles were arrested in Vermont Wednesday. Mahar was arrested in Massachusetts Thursday.