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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 16, 2020

Juvenile Carjacker Sentenced to 134 Months in Federal Prison

            St. Louis, MO – Elijah Roberts, 19, of St. Louis City, was sentenced to 134 months in prison for his involvement in a February 2018 carjacking.  Roberts appeared today before U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey who imposed the sentence. 

            According to the court documents, on February 13, 2018, the victim was securing her two minor children in their car seats.  When she got into the driver’s seat, Roberts, who was 17 years old at the time, yanked open her car door.  Roberts pointed a firearm at her and demanded her keys.  The victim handed over her keys and removed her infant daughter from the vehicle.  Before she could remove her second child -- a fifteen-month old boy -- from his car seat, Roberts drove off in the stolen vehicle.  Police responded and found the toddler unharmed in an alley.

            Police eventually located Roberts who was still inside the carjacked vehicle.  Roberts fled from police officers for approximately 45 minutes – ramming two police cars and injuring one police officer during the pursuit.  After driving through parks and over curbs, the vehicle broke down.  Roberts was arrested.

            Roberts pleaded guilty in October to carjacking and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime.

            “To the young people in our community, know that you have a choice when it comes to guns: Pick one up or put it down.  We want you to put it down,” said United States Attorney Jeff Jensen after today’s sentencing.  “Whether you are 17 or 70, if you choose to commit a violent crime in this district, you will be aggressively prosecuted at the federal level.  A federal prosecution means no parole; significant prison time; serving that prison sentence far from Saint Louis; and intensive supervised release once prison is over.” 

            Jensen continued, “In the last two years, this office has doubled the number of federal prosecutions of individuals who have chosen to pick-up firearms and commit violent acts with them.  This specifically includes increased prosecution of juveniles.” 

            The Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated this case.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated January 16, 2020