Two Tulsa men have been convicted in federal court for tampering with witnesses who were slated to testify in court proceedings regarding a carjacking, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
Ulysses Semion Washington, 34, and Derius Donovan Ledet, 32, each pleaded guilty to tampering with a witness, victim, and informant by corrupt persuasion. Washington opted to plead guilty as his trial was set to begin Wednesday. Ledet pleaded guilty on July 8, 2022.
“Maintaining the integrity of our justice system is of the utmost importance. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will not tolerate any act that seeks to obstruct our federal court processes,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
According to court documents, in late March of 2022, Ledet was being held at the David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center on charges related to an armed carjacking incident. On March 23, 2022, Ledet called Washington several times to discuss ways to get Ledet released from detention. Ledet instructed Washington to “put in some footwork” in an effort to prevent two witnesses from communicating with law enforcement about the case and to prevent their testimony in official court proceedings. Ledet also told Washington to pay off the witnesses with money obtained from selling one of Ledet’s cars.
Days later, Washington offered to pay the witnesses money if they would write affidavits that stated they would not cooperate in the pending carjacking case. Both witnesses were subpoenaed to make appearances in federal proceedings but neither showed.
Even after being indicted and as recently as July 5, 2022, Washington continued his attempts to contact one of the witnesses.
Per the stipulations in his plea agreement, Washington faces eight to 13 years in prison. Ledet faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. A federal judge will consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors when determining appropriate sentences for both men. They will be sentenced at a later date.
The FBI and Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin G. Bish and Ben Tonkin are prosecuting the case.