Minneapolis Man Pleads Guilty to Violent Carjacking Conspiracy Targeting Uber and Lyft Drivers, Assaulting a Federal Officer
ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Minneapolis man has pleaded guilty to pulling a gun on an FBI agent and to his role in a violent carjacking ring that targeted Uber and Lyft drivers, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.
According to court documents, between September and October 2021, William Charles Saffold, 20, and his co-conspirators engaged in a series of violent carjackings and armed robberies, targeting Uber and Lyft drivers. As part of the scheme, members of the conspiracy lured victim-drivers to particular locations under the guise of picking up or dropping off passengers. When the victim-drivers arrived, members of the conspiracy brandished firearms and demanded the cell phones and wallets of the victim-drivers. Members of the conspiracy forced the victim-drivers at gunpoint to unlock their cell phones and provide passcodes. The conspiracy members then transferred money, via Cash App or other applications, from the accounts of the victim-drivers to the accounts of members of the conspiracy. Members of the conspiracy then carjacked the victim-drivers at gunpoint. To intimidate and force compliance, members of the conspiracy struck, pistol whipped, and threatened to kill the victim-drivers.
According to court documents, on May 11, 2022, while attempting to execute an arrest warrant, an FBI agent approached Saffold, who immediately drew a pistol and pointed it at the agent before fleeing on foot.
Saffold pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Katherine M. Menendez to one count of conspiracy to use, carry, and brandish firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and one count of assault on a federal officer. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later time.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI and the Minneapolis Police Department.
U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Calhoun-Lopez are prosecuting the case.