U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
September 21, 2010
CARJACKING DEFENDANT SENTENCED TO 108 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Alfredo Hernandez, 28, formerly of Providence, was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court in Providence to 108 months in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years supervised release on carjacking and firearm charges. Hernandez pleaded guilty in March to one count each of carjacking and use of a firearm while in the commission of a violent crime in connection with an armed carjacking in the parking lot of a Cranston school in June 2009.
The sentence, which was imposed by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi, was announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha.
At the time of the defendant’s guilty plea, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerard B. Sullivan told the court, had the matter gone to trial, the government was prepared to present evidence that on June 7, 2009, at approximately 7:00 p.m., Cranston Police dispatched officers to a report of a carjacking outside the Dutemple School. A young couple met police and reported that soon after parking their car, and getting their 13 month baby out of her car seat, they were approached by an armed man. The man pointed a semi-automatic handgun at them and ordered them to “throw the keys on the ground.” The young woman retrieved the car keys from the baby’s diaper bag and tossed them on the ground. After the gunman retrieved the keys he told the victims to “walk away and don’t be stupid.”
About a half hour after police broadcast a description of the stolen vehicle and of the carjacker, a Providence Police officer observed a vehicle fitting the same description traveling on Wickenden Street in Providence. The officer stopped the vehicle without incident.
From the driver’s side of the vehicle, the officer observed the handle of a handgun sticking out of an open backpack on the passenger seat. Hernandez was removed at gunpoint and the officer retrieved a 9mm, semi-automatic pistol, and a box containing 39 rounds of 9mm ammunition.
Hernandez admitted to the arresting officer that he had stolen the vehicle, and later, while being questioned by a special agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Hernandez said that he wanted to steal a car so he could travel to New Orleans. Hernandez said he intentionally chose the victims of this crime because they appeared to be a young family who would not resist his demands because of the presence of the baby. Hernandez acknowledged that he confronted the family with a loaded handgun.
The matter was investigated by ATF, Cranston Police and Providence Police.