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Press Release

Three Men Sentenced to Prison for Violent Carjacking Conspiracy that Targeted Uber and Lyft Drivers

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

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Three Minneapolis men have been sentenced to prison for their roles in a series of violent carjackings and armed robberies targeting Uber and Lyft drivers, announced United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

“The defendants targeted innocent people who were simply doing their jobs,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger. “The crimes committed by these four men contributed to the sharp increase in violent carjackings throughout the Twin Cities in recent years and left victims with physical and emotional scars. I commend our law enforcement partners for their tireless efforts in bringing these defendants to justice.” 

“The residents of Minneapolis have dealt with violent crime for far too long,” said Minneapolis Police Chief, Brian O’Hara.  “The sentencing of these individuals sends a clear message: anyone who chooses to use violence and terror for personal gain will be held accountable. I am grateful for the leadership and partnership we have with U.S. Attorney Luger. I’m also thankful for the continued partnership with our law enforcement partners who helped ensure justice was done and accountability was achieved.”

“The FBI and our law enforcement partners are determined not to allow our community to become a breeding ground for violent, carjacking criminals,” said Special Agent in Charge Alvin M. Winston Sr. of FBI Minneapolis. “These sentencings send a clear message: carjacking will be met with swift and decisive action. We are committed to working tirelessly with law enforcement, community leaders, private sector partners, and residents to eradicate this heinous crime. Our community deserves safety and security, and we are prepared to take whatever steps necessary to ensure that carjackers are brought to justice.”

According to court documents, between September and October 2021, Shevirio Kavirion Childs-Young, 20, William Charles Saffold, 21, Javeyon Demario Tate, 23, and Eric Harrell Knight, 20, engaged in a series of violent carjackings and armed robberies, targeting Uber and Lyft drivers. As part of the scheme, the defendants conspired with each other to lure drivers to preplanned locations under the guise of picking up or dropping off passengers. When the drivers arrived, the defendants carjacked the drivers at gunpoint. To intimidate and force compliance, they brandished firearms, beat, and pistol-whipped the drivers. They also demanded keys, wallets, and cell phones and forced the drivers at gunpoint to unlock their phones and provide passcodes. The defendants then used the passcodes to further victimize the drivers by accessing and stealing money from the drivers’ Cash App accounts or other applications.

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.

All four defendants pleaded guilty to conspiring to use, carry, and brandish firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence. Saffold also pleaded guilty to assaulting a federal officer. Knight was sentenced today to 60 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. On February 13, 2023, Tate was sentenced to 78 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. On February 12, 2024, Childs-Young was sentenced to 96 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Saffold is scheduled to be sentenced on February 20, 2024. Judge Katherine M. Menendez sentenced the defendants.  

U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger thanked the Minneapolis Police Department and the FBI for their skilled investigative work on the case, and Uber and Lyft for their assistance throughout the investigation.

This case was prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Calhoun-Lopez.

Updated February 14, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime