DOJ SealDepartment of Justice

United States Attorney Rebecca A. Gregory
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
MONDAY, JANUARY 26, 2009                                           PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER                                PHONE: (409) 839-2538 CELL: (409) 553-9881


            BEAUMONT, TX -    U.S. Attorney Rebecca A. Gregory announced today that a 24-year-old Port Arthur man has been sentenced to federal prison for a 2007 carjacking in the Eastern District of Texas. 

            JOHN FITZGERALD RICE, JR., was found guilty by a jury on Aug. 11, 2008, for his role in a Mid-County carjacking and was sentenced to 500 (five hundred) months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield.   

            According to information presented in court, on Dec. 18, 2007, the Rice and co-defendant, Sarah Lynn Cormier, followed a Groves woman from a Port Neches gas station to her home where she was abducted from her driveway and threatened at gunpoint.  The victim was ordered into the passenger seat of her vehicle after which, the defendants had her withdraw money from an Automated Teller Machine before releasing her and leaving with her vehicle.

            The defendants were both convicted after a week-long trial of one count of conspiring to take a motor vehicle which had been shipped in interstate commerce by force and intimidation with intent to cause death and serious bodily harm; one count of car-jacking and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.  Rice was also convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.  In 2005, Rice was convicted of 2 counts of robbery in Jefferson County and is thereby prohibited from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition

            Four additional defendants have already pleaded guilty for their involvement in the incident:  JOSHUA JEROME HAYWARD, aka BRANDON METOYER, 19, of Port Arthur, pleaded guilty to carjacking and was sentenced to 170 months in federal prison on Jan. 6, 2009;   WILLIAM GENE STANTON, 20, of Nederland, pleaded guilty to carjacking and was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison on Jan. 16, 2009.  KEISHA GUIDRY, 19, of Nederland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit carjacking and was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison on Jan. 6, 2009; and ALDRAIN JERAY BOOKER, 21, of Nederland pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit carjacking and is set to be sentenced on Jan. 27, 2009.  A sentencing date for Sarah Cormier, 21, of Port Arthur, has not yet been set.

            This case is being investigated by the Port Arthur Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michelle Englade and David H. Henderson. 


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