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Press Release

Serial Carjacker who Shot and Pistol-Whipped Victims Sent to Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

DETROIT – A Detroit man was sentenced today to 25 years in prison for charges relating to three separate violent carjackings in June and July 2020, United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced today.

Worthy and Ison were joined in the announcement by James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Detroit Police Chief James E. White.

Rayquan Sturgis, 23, had previously pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of carjacking, one count of carjacking causing serious bodily injury, one count of discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and one count of using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Sturgis was sentenced by United States District Judge Sean F. Cox.

Sturgis was initially charged with one of the carjackings by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. However, Wayne County dismissed the carjacking charge so that it could be included with federal gun and carjacking charges in the federal case. “This is an example of the excellent collaboration between Prosecutor Worthy’s office and my office,” U.S. Attorney Ison said. “This collaboration was critical in obtaining this significant federal sentence that was handed down today and will be critical in our approach to violent crime going forward.”

According to the court documents, in three separate incidents, Sturgis carjacked three people after each of them had tried to help him in different ways.  On June 10, 2020, the first victim offered him a ride after he was in a crash.  After she drove him 15 minutes away, Sturgis pointed a gun at her and forced her out of her car and drove away.  On June 18, 2020, Sturgis approached the second victim and asked for help jumpstarting his car.  After driving Sturgis a few blocks, Sturgis got out of the car, walked around to the driver’s side and shot the victim multiple times without even giving him a chance to surrender.  The victim suffered permanent injuries from the gunshot wounds.  And on July 7, 2020, Sturgis was given a ride by the third victim from Inkster to Detroit.  When they arrived in Detroit, Sturgis pistol whipped the victim while he was driving, stole his sunglasses, and then pistol whipped him again and forced him out of the car and drove off.

Two of the carjackings, including where Sturgis shot the victim, went unsolved for nearly a year.  The U.S. Attorneys Office, FBI, and Detroit Police continued to investigate the case and were able to identify Sturgis as the perpetrator after interviewing additional witnesses and collecting evidence from Sturgis’s social media accounts and phone records linking him to the crimes.

“Individuals who assault and carjack the citizens of this district will not escape the dedicated and persistent employees of the Department of Justice, the Detroit Police Department, and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. This case is a prime example of how my office and our federal and local law enforcement partners will work tirelessly to prosecute those who use firearms to terrorize the citizens of our community,” U.S. Attorney Ison said.

“Sometimes it takes a village working together collaboratively to keep the community safe. These cases are a good example of this. A dangerous predator will no longer be free to prey on others,” said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

“Armed carjacking poses an unacceptable danger to public safety and creates a climate of fear for residents in our community,” said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office. “This case serves as an example of the collaboration between the FBI and the Detroit Police Department to bring justice to bear upon violent criminals like Rayquan Sturgis who use firearms to victimize innocent people.”

The investigation of the case was conducted by special agents and task force officers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and officers with the Detroit Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Picek prosecuted this case for the United States.

Updated April 12, 2023

Violent Crime