Two Minneapolis Men Charged in a Violent Carjacking Conspiracy Targeting Uber and Lyft Drivers
(STL.News) Two Minneapolis men have been charged in a 20-count indictment for their roles in a series of violent carjackings and armed robberies targeting Uber and Lyft drivers, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.
“Last month, along with federal and local law enforcement partners, I announced a new strategy to address the rising violent crime in our communities. Today’s indictment represents an important step forward in that strategy. As alleged, these two defendants led a carjacking ring that engaged in a series of violent, premeditated acts against Uber and Lyft drivers,” said U.S. Attorney Luger.
According to court documents, between September and October 2021, Shevirio Kavirion Childs-Young, 18, and William Charles Saffold, 20, along with others, engaged in a series of violent carjackings and armed robberies, targeting Uber and Lyft drivers.
As part of the scheme, members of the conspiracy lured victim-drivers to particular locations under the guise of picking up or dropping off passengers. When the victim-drivers arrived, members of the conspiracy brandished firearms and demanded the cell phones and wallets of the victim-drivers.
Members of the conspiracy forced the victim-drivers at gunpoint to unlock their cell phones and provide passcodes. The conspiracy members then transferred money, via Cash App or other applications, from the accounts of the victim-drivers to the accounts of members of the conspiracy. Members of the conspiracy then carjacked the victim-drivers at gunpoint. To intimidate and force compliance, members of the conspiracy struck, pistol whipped, and threatened to kill the victim-drivers.
Childs-Young and Saffold are charged with conspiracy, brandishing firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence, aiding and abetting carjacking, and aiding and abetting interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act).
Saffold made his initial appearances earlier today in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge John Docherty. He was ordered to remain in custody pending further proceedings. Childs-Young is in state custody and is expected to appear in U.S. District Court at a later date.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.
Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI and the Minneapolis Police Department.
U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Calhoun-Lopez are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.