Columbus Man Convicted of Tampering with a Witness in a Federal Gun Case

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COLUMBUS, Ga. – A Columbus resident with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced to prison after he orchestrated others from jail to compel a witness in a separate federal case against him to make false statements.

Aubrey Crittenden aka Frog, 36, of Columbus, was sentenced to serve 56 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release by U.S. District Clay Land on Tuesday, Dec. 14, after he previously pleaded guilty to tampering with a witness. There is no parole in the federal system.

“It’s a highly serious criminal offense to attempt to interfere with the administration of justice by tampering with a witness,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Our office will not hesitate to pursue lawful prosecution against those who threaten, coerce or otherwise wrongfully influence or tamper with a witness.”

According to court documents, Columbus Police Department (CPD) officers were patrolling the area of Pecan Street and Benner Avenue in Columbus, looking for Crittenden, who was a wanted person. A witness called 911 to alert CPD that Crittenden was on Pecan Street with a gun. Officers spotted Crittenden exiting from and standing by a car and after a brief foot chase, he was taken into custody. Crittenden had a loaded 9mm pistol in the car. Crittenden was indicted by a federal grand jury on Feb. 12, 2020 of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and was detained pre-trial at the Lee County, Alabama, jail. While incarcerated, Crittenden made multiple jail calls, including between May 20, 2021 and June 9, 2021, coordinating with and directing individuals to draft an affidavit containing false statements and to pressure the witness who reported his whereabouts to police to sign it. The affidavit signed by the witness under duress was delivered to Crittenden’s attorney, and a trial was scheduled. Crittenden has a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for terroristic threats and theft by taking in Muscogee County, Georgia, Superior Court.

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This case was investigated by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Williams prosecuted the case.

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