Baltimore Man Facing Federal Charges Related to Two Carjackings
Allegedly Committed Two Carjackings Within Three Days
Baltimore, Maryland – A federal criminal complaint has been filed charging Michael Wedington, Jr., age 19, of Baltimore, Maryland, with conspiracy, taking a motor vehicle by threats or violence, and with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, in connection with two carjackings. The criminal complaint was returned on November 6, 2019, and was unsealed at Wedington’s initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore today. At today’s initial appearance, Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Beth P. Gesner ordered that Wedington be detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for December 18, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.
The federal charges were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.
“Armed criminals jeopardize lives and they must be held accountable,” said United States Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Police and prosecutors are working to identify armed criminals who deserve to be charged in federal court where, if convicted, you could be sentenced to more years in federal prison than you’ve been alive. And there is no parole—ever. Please put down the gun and save a life, maybe even your own.”
According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Wedington allegedly participated in two carjackings that occurred on June 8 and June 10, 2019. In each instance, the victim was picking up tools as part of a transaction set up through a cellular phone-based application, “OfferUp,” which connects local buyers and sellers of various products. When the victims arrived at the designated meeting spot, they were then directed to a second location, where the victims were robbed and their vehicles taken.
As detailed in the affidavit, in the carjacking on June 8, 2019, the victim arrived in the area of Washington Boulevard and South Monroe Street in Baltimore and was then directed to the 2400 block of West Lexington Street. Upon arriving, the victim was waived down and approached by three men. At first the men appeared to load the victim’s Ford van with the purported tools they were purportedly selling. However, one suspect was armed with a handgun and allegedly forced the victim into the rear of his vehicle, then all three suspects also entered the vehicle. The suspects allegedly stole the victim’s wallet and cash, a driver’s license, debit card and his cellular phone. As they drove away, the affidavit alleges that one suspect placed a handgun in the victim’s mouth and demanded the PIN number to the victim’s debit card. The suspects drove to a gas station in Northwest Baltimore with the victim still in the van, and one of the suspects used the PIN number the victim had provided to obtain cash from an ATM. The victim escaped from the van in the area of the 7000 block of Park Heights Avenue and called the Baltimore Police Department to report the incident. The stolen vehicle was recovered five days later in that area of the 2700 block of Tivoly Avenue in Baltimore.
According to the affidavit, in the second carjacking on June 10, 2019, the victim was lured to the 2400 block of West Lexington Street through the OfferUp application by a user who was purportedly selling tools and equipment at this location. When the victim arrived, he was directed to the back alley behind West Fayette Street, where two suspects approached him—both armed with handguns. The two men allegedly took the victim’s wallet, containing over $1,000 in cash, the victim’s two cell phones, and the victim’s Toyota Sienna.
The affidavit alleges that both victims identified Wedington in a photo array, and Wedington’s fingerprint was recovered from the van stolen in the second carjacking, when it was located in Southwest Baltimore. On November 1, 2019, federal search warrant was executed at Wedington’s primary residence, which is located between the scenes of the two carjackings, and law enforcement recovered a Toyota car key, firearms, replica pellet guns, clothing, and cellular phones.
If convicted, Wedington faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for conspiracy to take a motor vehicle by threats or violence; a maximum of 15 years in federal prison for taking a motor vehicle by threats or violence; and a mandatory minimum of seven years in federal prison, consecutive to any other sentence, and up to life in federal prison for each of two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI and the Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew DellaBetta, who is prosecuting the case.
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