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Press Release

New Jersey Man Sentenced to 105 Months in Prison for 2023 Armed Carjacking in South Philadelphia

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

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Ronald Brown, 21, of Blackwood, New Jersey, was sentenced today to was sentenced today to 105 months’ imprisonment and five years of supervised release by United States District Court Judge John R. Padova, for one count of carjacking and one count of carrying, using, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to the commission of a crime of violence.

In October of 2023, a grand jury returned a two-count indictment charging the defendant with carjacking and carrying, using, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, charges arising from the defendant’s involvement in a carjacking in the early morning hours of July 16, 2023.

The defendant pleaded guilty to both counts in February, admitting to carjacking at gunpoint two people sitting in a Chevrolet Camaro parked outside a South Philadelphia Dunkin Donuts. The day after the carjacking, two Philadelphia police officers had observed the stolen vehicle and attempted to follow it, but the defendant escaped. A short time later, officers again observed the vehicle and Brown fled at a high rate of speed. Brown then crashed the carjacked vehicle into a building and fled on foot. The officers arrested Brown after a brief foot chase and later recovered the firearm used to commit the carjacking from the stolen vehicle.

“Carjackings terrorize their victims and can upend the entire community’s sense of security,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “That’s exactly why we stood up the Philadelphia Carjacking Task Force, pooling resources to identify, investigate, and prosecute violent offenders like Ronald Brown. As his sentence shows, if you commit a carjacking in our city, best be prepared for an extended stay in one of our federal facilities.”

“Carjacking is a dangerous crime and as this case shows, federal carjacking penalties are severe, putting offenders in federal prison for years,” said Eric DeGree, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Philadelphia Field Office. “Brown was one of multiple culprits in this series of violent crimes. ATF continues to work with local, state and federal partners in the Philadelphia Carjacking Task Force to seek justice in all cases, and to prevent and deter further carjackings.”

“Today's sentencing is a clear message to those who seek to terrorize our communities through violent acts like carjacking,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin J. Bethel. “The Philadelphia Police Department, in collaboration with our federal partners, remains steadfast in our commitment to ensuring the safety and security of our neighborhoods. The swift apprehension and prosecution of Ronald Brown underscores our dedication to bringing justice to victims and restoring peace to the community. We will continue to work tirelessly to deter such crimes and uphold the rule of law in Philadelphia.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Philadelphia Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kwambina I. Coker and Robert E. Eckert.

Updated July 9, 2024