Reading man found guilty of witness intimidation for ordering $20K ‘hit’ in human trafficking case

Attorney General Michelle Henry announced that a Berks County man was convicted on charges related to intimidating a victim who was testifying against him in a human trafficking case.

Dushawn Ellis, 34, was found guilty of declaring that he put a $20,000 hit on the witness. According to trial testimony, Ellis took steps to ensure that the victim was aware of the threat on her life if she testified against him in the case.

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On Wednesday evening, a Berks County jury convicted Ellis of two felony counts of witness intimidation and one count of obstruction of justice. He will be sentenced on February 26.

“This defendant was willing to use any means necessary to make the charges against him go away,” Attorney General Henry said. “My office stands by this brave witness. This verdict ensures that the defendant will be held accountable for his threats and intimidations, and serves as a reminder that this type of conduct will not be tolerated in Pennsylvania.”

According to trial testimony, Ellis approached another inmate at Berks County Prison, who was an acquaintance of the witness, and informed him of the $20,000 bounty.

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Ellis later used technology available to him inside the prison to video chat with this witness and relay the threat directly.

The investigation into the underlying human trafficking case is ongoing.

This case was investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police Organized Crime Unit and prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Erik Olsen.

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