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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 29, 2019

Maryland Man Sentenced to over 17 years in Jail for an Armed Carjacking and Shooting of an Uber Driver

           WASHINGTON – Gene James, 29, of Calvert County, MD, has been sentenced to over seventeen years in jail stemming from his involvement in a shooting and armed carjacking of an Uber driver that occurred on November 19, 2016, in Southeast, Washington, DC, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu.

           Following a trial in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, on February 13, 2019, a jury returned a verdict of guilty on ten counts including Armed Carjacking and weapons-related offenses. On April 26, 2019, the Honorable Michael O’Keefe sentenced the defendant to 206 months’ incarceration, to be followed by a five-year term of supervised release.

           The government’s evidence established that on November 19, 2016, the victim, who was employed as an Uber driver, was standing beside his running vehicle at the corner of 16th and W Streets SE. James and his two co-defendants, Jameik Bassil and Travonn Davis, drove up to the intersection and James jumped out with an assault rifle and a drum magazine, threatening the victim. As the victim and James struggled over the gun, it went off multiple times, striking the victim in the leg. The two co-defendants ran over to help James and then all three fled the scene with the defendant driving the victim’s car. MPD officers located the victim’s car several blocks away and stopped James a block from the car. James’s fingerprint was found in the victim’s car, and the drum magazine was recovered near his location.

           MPD officers arrested James that night and he has been in custody ever since. Co-defendants Bassil and Davis were arrested after further investigation, including an analysis of GPS tracking data. They both pled guilty to Armed Robbery and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and were sentenced in 2017 to 76 months and 96 months’ incarceration respectively.

           In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu commended the work of the MPD officers who immediately responded to the scene and followed a trail of evidence that led to the defendant’s arrest on the same night of the offense. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jack Korba, Brittany Keil, and Julia Cosans, with assistance from former Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kerkhoff, as well as paralegals Antoinette Sakamsa and Daphne Theresa Nelson who helped prepare the case for trial.

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19-069

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 
19-069
Updated April 29, 2019