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Defendant Sentenced to 17 Years for Car Jacking, Robbery Spree

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Defendant Sentenced to 17 Years for Car Jacking, Robbery Spree

U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Michigan
January 12, 2009

Acting United States Attorney Terrence Berg announced today that a Detroit resident was sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment on charges involving five car jackings. Mr. Berg was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena, Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Brandon Taylor, 21, of Detroit, pleaded guilty and was sentenced before United States District Judge David M. Lawson.

The investigation arose after a Department of Justice (DOJ) employee was car-jacked on January 4, 2008 after leaving a Chase Bank ATM on Grand River and Fenkell in Detroit. The DOJ employee was followed home from the bank and robbed by Taylor of her cash, car, and purse (which contained government property). The investigation of the car jacking of the federal employee led authorities to evidence linking Taylor to four additional car jackings.

Acting United States Attorney Berg said, “Anyone thinking about jacking a car to make some quick money should think about spending 17 years in federal prison instead. The punishment for stealing a car with a gun is severe because of the threat of violence and the danger posed to innocent citizens. I commend the FBI for their determination and professionalism in pursuing this case.”

Information presented to the Court as part of Taylor’s guilty plea revealed that co-defendant Shawnta Jones, 28, of Detroit, would conduct surveillance on victims at ATMs and other cash oriented businesses. They would follow the victim back to their home where Taylor would accost them at gunpoint and order them to drive him a short distance from their homes. Taylor would then rob them of their property and take their vehicles which he would drop off a short distance away.

Jones and Taylor would communicate by cell phone and Taylor would tell Jones where to pick him up after he abandoned the carjacked vehicle. Jones was sentenced to 12 years in prison as an aider and abettor on five counts: two counts of car jacking; and one count each of robbery of government property; receipt, disposal of government property; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Taylor pleaded guilty to seven counts, including five car jackings.

After solving the car jacking of the Justice Department employee, the FBI’s investigation revealed that the duo had performed approximately six other similar carjackings over a span of two months from December 2007 through January of 2008.

The lengthy nature of the sentence is due to the gun charge conviction which carries mandatory consecutive sentencing. Seven years imprisonment is required upon conviction of the gun charge and Judge Lawson then ordered an additional five years on the remaining charges for a total of 17 years imprisonment.

The case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Terrence R. Haugabook.

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