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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 29, 2022

Superseding Indictment Charges Two Additional Defendants for Their Roles in a Violent Carjacking Conspiracy Targeting Uber and Lyft Drivers

MINNEAPOLIS – Two Minneapolis men have been arrested and charged in a 30-count superseding indictment for their roles in a series of violent carjackings and armed robberies targeting Uber and Lyft drivers, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

“As outlined in the superseding indictment, these defendants targeted and terrorized Uber and Lyft drivers. These carjackings were not one offs or random opportunities for joyriding; they were organized, calculated, violent crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Luger. “I want to acknowledge the collaborative work of federal, state, and local law enforcement in investigating and charging this violent carjacking ring.”

According to court documents, between September and October 2021, Eric Harrell Knight, 19, and Javeyon Demario Tate, 21, along with their co-conspirators Shevirio Kavirion Childs-Young, 18, and William Charles Saffold, 20, 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. 

All four defendants are charged with conspiracy, brandishing firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence, aiding and abetting carjacking, and aiding and abetting interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act).  The superseding indictment also charges Saffold with assault on a federal law enforcment officer with a Polymer 80 9 mm pistol. Additionally, Tate is charged with unlawful possession of a machinegun: a Glock model 21 .45 caliber pistol equipped with an auto sear. 

Knight and Tate made their initial appearances earlier today in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge David T. Schultz. Both defendants were ordered to remain in custody pending detention hearings. Childs-Young and Saffold were indicted on April 26, 2022, and will remain in custody pending further proceedings.

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.

An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated August 2, 2022