Police seize Fall River City Council president's phone as part of harassment investigation

·2 min read

FALL RIVER — Westport police seized City Council president Pam Laliberte-Lebeau's cell phone from her New Boston Road apartment earlier this week, according to a search warrant, as part of an investigation into harassment complaints.

As of Thursday, no charges were filed in Fall River District Court against the city councilor.

Laliberte-Lebeau, a Realtor, could not be reached at her place of business, Keller Williams South Watuppa, and a call to her cell phone went to voicemail.

District Court Judge Kevin Finnerty approved a search warrant for Westport Detective Turner Ryan on Aug. 5, that specified the warrant was to retrieve the cell phone.

According to the warrant, Westport police are investigating a complaint by a Westport couple who had been receiving “harassing and annoying” telephone calls “sending text, images and calling them.”

The couple had allegedly been getting calls from so-called “spoof” or “burner” telephone numbers.

Apps are available to allow a caller to hide their identity with unlimited anonymous numbers, not revealing the caller’s true telephone number.

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City councilor Pam Laliberte-Lebeau speaks at the inauguration in January.
City councilor Pam Laliberte-Lebeau speaks at the inauguration in January.

In Ryan’s affidavit for a search warrant, he indicated that he used information from Adhoc Labs, which makes these apps, that reviewed data and identified the calls as originating from a phone number belonging to Laliberte-Lebeau.

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The couple had reportedly received at least nine calls from the “burner” numbers between April 28 and July 10.

The Westport detective said the lab determined Laliberte-Lebeau had opened an account for the “burner” number-spoofing ability on April 28.

Westport police reported that Laliberte-Lebeau surrendered her cell phone to officers outside her residence. The return warrant indicates that once the forensic download of the phone is complete, it will be returned to Laliberte-Lebeau.

Jo C. Goode may be reached at jgoode@heraldnews.com. Support local journalism and subscribe to The Herald News today!

This article originally appeared on The Herald News: Fall River City Council president's cell phone seized in investigation