Indictment: Two Topeka Men Were Behind Carjackings
TOPEKA, KAN. – Two Topeka men were indicted today on federal carjacking charges, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.
Chauncey Elliott Lyles, 19, Topeka, Kan., and Mathdaniel Squirrel, 22, Topeka, Kan., were charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of carjacking. In addition, Lyles was charged with brandishing a .223 caliber American Tactical rifle during a carjacking.
The indictment alleges that on Jan. 30 the defendants threatened two drivers and stole their cars, a 2007 Cadillac DTS and a 2013 Dodge Dart. When police responded, the defendants fled in the Dodge Dart. They hit a tree in the 400 block of northeast Freeman and fled on foot before police took them into custody.
If convicted, they face the following penalties:
Conspiracy: Up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the conspiracy count.
Carjacking: Up to 15 years and a fine up to $250,000.
Brandishing a firearm in a carjacking: Not less than five years and a fine up to $250,000.
The Topeka Police Department and the FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Skip Jacobs is prosecuting.
Brian L. Hernandez, 25, who is in custody, is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and one count of unlawful possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. The crimes are alleged to have occurred Jan. 31 in Shawnee County, Kan.
The indictment alleges Hernandez possessed a .40 caliber Glock handgun, a 9 mm Glock handgun, and a .223 caliber Bushmaster rifle.
If convicted, he faces the following penalties:
Possession with intent to distribute cocaine: Up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.
Possession with intent to distribute marijuana: Up to five years and a fine up to $250,000.
Possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking: Not less than five years and a fine up to $250,000.
The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Hunting is prosecuting.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.