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Press Release

Father And Son Sentenced To 20 Years In Federal Prison For Violent Carjackings

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore today sentenced Anthony Phillips III (18, Tampa) to 20 years in federal prison for two counts of carjacking and two counts of brandishing firearms in furtherance of carjacking, which he committed with his father, Anthony Phillips, Jr., in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Phillips III had pleaded guilty on March 14, 2019.

According to court documents, in each of the carjackings, the defendants held firearms against the heads or chests of their victims. In the first carjacking, committed on New Year’s Day in 2018, in Tampa, the defendants stripped and pistol whipped the victim, and threatened to harm his family if he reported the incident to law enforcement. In the second carjacking, committed two days later, in St. Petersburg, the defendants and two others took a vehicle from a pediatrician’s parking lot in broad daylight. During the incident, the assailants pressed firearms against the chests of two parents, who successfully begged for the return of their one-year-old infant that was still in the vehicle. Later that day, as United States Marshals deputies arrested the defendants, they attempted a forceful escape.

Anthony Phillips, Jr. (39, Tampa) pleaded guilty on July 16, 2018, to two counts of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a carjacking. He was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment on March 12, 2019.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the St. Petersburg Police Department, and the United States Marshals Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Natalie Hirt Adams.

This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.

Updated June 11, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods