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Press Release

Two Minneapolis Men Indicted for Armed Carjacking, Kidnapping

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

MINNEAPOLIS – Two Minneapolis men have been indicted for violently carjacking, kidnapping, and holding a victim at gunpoint for several hours, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, on the evening of February 14, 2023, a man called 911 to report that he had been kidnapped and robbed by three individuals, later identified as Jamal Timothy Funchess, 18, T’Shawn Teon Palton, 21, and a juvenile. The victim reported that he had made arrangements over Facebook Marketplace to buy a cell phone. The victim and the purported seller arranged to meet at a location in Columbia Heights. When the victim arrived at the location and was still in the car, Funchess and Palton approached, and one pointed a firearm at the victim. The men ordered the victim to the backseat of the car. The men then got into the victim’s car, drove a few blocks, and picked up the juvenile. The three individuals held the victim at gunpoint for the next several hours. Each of the three at some point held the firearm and pointed it at the victim. During this time, they demanded that the victim surrender his cell phone, wallet, credit cards, and banking information. They drove to several gas stations around the Twin Cities in an attempt to use the victim’s cards to withdraw money. At one point, one of the men struck the victim in the face with the firearm. Toward the end of the ordeal, the three men discussed what to do with the victim and openly talked about murdering him. Eventually, they dropped the victim on a road in St. Paul and drove away in the victim’s car. The victim ran to a nearby gas station and borrowed an employee’s cell phone to call 911.

Officers were able to use the location of the victim’s stolen cell phone to find Palton, Funchess, and the juvenile kidnapper, along with the victim’s stolen car and possessions.

The indictment charges Funchess and Palton with kidnapping, carjacking, and two counts of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. The defendants, who are currently in federal custody, previously made initial appearances on a related complaint in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge John F. Docherty.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the Bloomington Police Department, and the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah E. Hudleston and Matthew D. Forbes 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.

Updated April 13, 2023

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