U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced that Shykeila Russell, 30, of Rochester who was convicted of witness intimidation, was sentenced to serve 12 months and a day in prison by U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa M. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that in September 2017, an individual identified as L.T., testified in a federal jury trial against
the defendant’s brother Stephen Jones. Jones was subsequently convicted of sex trafficking and sentenced to serve 25 years in prison.
On July 27, 2018, Russell physically assaulted L.T. as retaliation for L.T.’s testimony during the federal jury trial. The defendant observed L.T. walking down the street with a small child. Russell approached and stated, “my brother is doing 25 years and you think you can just walk around like nothing happened.” The defendant then punched L.T. repeatedly in the head, causing bruising and pain. The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Child Exploitation Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-
Charge Gary Loeffert.