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Press Release

Man who Tampered with a Witness Involved in his Federal Trial Sentenced to 150 Months’ in Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

A man who tampered with a witness involved in his federal trial was sentenced on October 25, 2023, to 150 months in federal prison.

Michael Lyn Ashford, age 43, from Chicago, Illinois, received the prison term after a jury found him guilty of conspiracy to tamper with a witness and tampering with a witness.        

Evidence at the trial showed that Ashford, and his co-defendant, Jenise Colvin, spoke about their plan to contact the witness who had called 911 after a firearm was pointed at the witness while at a gas station in Dubuque.  Ashford directed Colvin to contact the witness and told Colvin what to tell the witness.  Colvin then called the witness and told the witness that they knew personal information about the witness, including the witness’s name and address.  Ashford also called the witness while he was in custody and relayed similar information.  In imposing its sentence, the district court found that Ashford pointed the firearm at the witness prompting the witness to call 911, tampered with the witness such that the witness did not want to testify at trial, and attempted to contact other potential witnesses in an attempt to obstruct justice.

Ashford was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Ashford was sentenced to 150 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Ashford is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

Jenise Colvin was previously sentenced to 30 months in federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Emily N. Nydle and Nicole L. Nagin, and it was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Dubuque Police Department.

Court file information at  The case file number is 22-CR- 1037-01.

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Updated October 26, 2023

Access to Justice
Firearms Offenses