Crime

Members of carjacking ring sentenced to prison

BALTIMORE, MD – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh announced on Wednesday that members of a serial carjacking ring would be going to prison.

Daquan Johnson, 19; Dalante Graham, 19; Tyheim Gray, 20; and Travon Williamston, 18, were sentenced for a string of carjacking offenses.

Between September and December of 2017, these four defendants were responsible for at least 26 incidents of carjacking and auto thefts, involving over 25 victims. The investigation was led by the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Baltimore City Police Department, and the Baltimore County Police Department.

The Honorable Robert Cahill, Jr. sentenced Tyheim Gray to 50 years, suspending all but 17 years, for carjacking conspiracy, armed carjacking, and a theft scheme over $100,000.

Travon Williamston was sentenced to 40 years, suspending all but 13 years, for carjacking conspiracy, armed carjacking, using a firearm in a crime of violence, and a theft scheme over $100,000.

Daquan Johnson was sentenced to 50 years, suspending all but 20 years, for carjacking conspiracy, armed carjacking, and a theft scheme over $100,000.

Dalante Graham was sentenced to 40 years, suspending all but 17, for carjacking conspiracy, armed carjacking, using a firearm in a crime of violence, and a theft scheme over $100,000.

One carjacking tactic frequently employed by the crew was to run into the victim’s car with the vehicle they arrived in (most often another stolen or carjacked vehicle), causing superficial damage. The defendants would then feign a post-accident exchange of information and attack the victims when they lowered their guard.

The defendants used weapons, such as knives, pellet guns, and handguns during the carjackings. The attacks often continued even after the crew took the victim’s vehicles and other property, such as cell phones. The worst assaults left victims hospitalized with broken bones. After taking the victim’s keys and personal property, the defendants would flee in the vehicle in which they arrived and the newly carjacked vehicle.

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After the crimes, the defendants would later post images and videos to social media of themselves “joyriding” in the stolen vehicles. The defendants would wear the key fobs on their belts as trophies and make videos bragging about how many cars they stole.

“These individuals attacked unsuspecting drivers, in some cases causing serious injury,” said Attorney General Frosh. “They showed no remorse, flaunted their exploits on social media, and will now spend many years behind bars.”

The crew would sometimes target victims more than once. Specifically, when the defendants took a key ring with multiple car keys, members would use stolen identification cards or insurance information to determine where the victim lived. After traveling to the residence, sometimes days or months later, the defendants would use the keys to steal additional vehicles owned by the victim.

“The FBI is committed to working with our partners at the Baltimore City and Baltimore County Police Departments to remove violent criminals from their neighborhoods,” said FBI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone. “Today’s sentencing is indicative of the success that can be attained when agencies combine resources with the same goal of removing criminals whose actions threaten the safety and security of our communities.”

“This case is an example of our local, state, and federal partners working in concert to bring violent criminals to justice,” said Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa R. Hyatt. “These collaborative efforts are key to keeping our communities safe.”

 

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