FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2012
NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, N.J., man appeared in Newark federal court today for allegedly carjacking two vehicles in June 2012 in Essex County, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Jahleel McLendon, 19, of Newark, is charged in a four-count Complaint with two counts of theft of a motor vehicle by force, violence and intimidation and two counts of use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. The defendant made his initial court appearance this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk and was detained.
According to the criminal Complaint:
On June 6, 2012, McLendon approached an individual sitting in a parked Chrysler 300, pointed a silver handgun at the victim, and ordered the victim to get out of the car. Approximately four hours after the carjacking, police observed the carjacked Chrysler 300 being driven in an unsafe manner in Newark, and a pursuit ensued. McLendon crashed the carjacked Chrysler 300, causing two utility poles to break and wires to fall on the police vehicle. McLendon escaped on foot.
On June 22, 2012, McLendon approached an individual who was sitting in a parked Chevrolet Impala, knocked on the window with a silver handgun, and ordered the person to get out of the car. Approximately two hours after the carjacking, police observed the carjacked Chevrolet Impala, and a pursuit ensued. Police apprehended McLendon after a foot chase. Immediately prior to being apprehended, McLendon threw a silver handgun to the ground.
The charges of carjacking (Counts One and Three) are punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison. The charges of use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence (Counts Two and Four) is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years for the first count of conviction, and a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years for the second count of conviction, each of which must run consecutively to one another and to any other prison term. Each of the four counts also carries a maximum fine of $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark; the Newark Police Department, under the leadership of Director Samuel A. DeMaio and Chief Sheilah A. Coley; and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray; as well as criminal investigators from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa M. Colone of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Paul H. Feinberg Esq., South Orange, N.J.