Pounds charges dismissed in SLV, pursued at federal level


CONEJOS COUNTY — The 12th Judicial District Attorney’s office has dismissed its welfare fraud case against Pamala Pounds, 38, Alamosa, since the U.S. Attorney’s Office is pursuing charges related to the same allegations.

Chief Trial Deputy District Attorney Ashley Fetyko, who handles the DA’s cases in Conejos County, confirmed that the DA’s office had dismissed charges against Pounds at this level. She added that the reason the local charges were dismissed, however, was because similar charges are being pursued at the federal level, stemming from same incident and same facts as the DA’s case, making the local case duplicative.

Fetyko added the U.S. Attorney’s office has more resources to pursue this type of case, so the DA’s office was deferring to them.

A spokesman from the U.S. Attorney’s office on Monday stated he could not comment on ongoing investigations.

Charges dismissed locally because of their duplicative nature with the federal case were felony theft, felony computer crime, felony offering a false instrument for recording in the first degree, and felony criminal impersonation.

They stemmed from a time period between November 3, 2012 and September 18, 2015, when Pounds allegedly received $32,839 in Medicaid-HCBS benefits and $8,368 in Food Stamp benefits she was not entitled to from the Conejos Department of Social Services. A misdemeanor theft charge related to Ensure drinks and a medication dispenser allegedly taken from the social services department, and the felony criminal impersonation charge alleged that Pounds unlawfully assumed the identity of a psychologist.