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Press Release

South Bend Man Sentenced to 169 Months in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Indiana
For Carjacking Offense

SOUTH BEND – Dustin Hartline, 29 years old, of South Bend, Indiana, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr. after pleading guilty to carjacking and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, announced United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson.

Hartline was sentenced to 169 months in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release. 

According to court filed documents, in February 2022, Hartline ordered a ride through a rideshare company. After the rideshare driver picked him up and drove him to his destination, Hartline pressed a loaded pistol into the driver’s body. Hartline threatened the driver and as the driver was pleading for his/her vehicle, Hartline fired a round from the pistol into the ground. Hartline then drove away in the car.  Using information from the driver’s cell phone left in the stolen car, law enforcement officers were able to track Hartline to a residence in Niles, Michigan, where he was arrested.  The stolen car and the firearm Hartline used – which likewise had been stolen-- were recovered when Hartline was arrested. A factor in the imposed sentence was Hartline’s recent criminal history of multiple felony convictions for grand theft of a motor vehicle, resisting law enforcement, and fleeing a police officer.

“Carjacking of rideshare drivers is a violent crime that is increasing as the public’s use of those services becomes commonplace. Frequently, as here, perpetrators use firearms as part of the carjacking.  Fortunately, the driver that Mr. Hartline victimized was not physically hurt, but whenever a gun is discharged during a crime, all the ingredients for deadly consequences are present,” said United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson.  “My Office and our law enforcement partners will cooperatively utilize all combined resources to bring such lawless, violent and dangerous criminals to justice.”

“Today’s sentencing demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to investigating cases of violent crime to protect innocent victims and sends the message these crimes will not be tolerated,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton. “The teamwork between the FBI and our law enforcement partners ensured there is one less predator on the street and helped make our communities safer.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the South Bend Police Department and the Niles Michigan Police Department.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Molly E. Donnelly.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.



Updated January 18, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime