Cleveland gang members sentenced to 64 and 14 years in prison for carjackings in Tremont neighborhood
Two Cleveland gang members were sentenced to more than 64 and 14 years in prison for their roles in carjackings in the city’s Tremont neighborhood, said U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman, FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony and Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams.
Kenneth Jackson, Jr., 20, and Antowine Palmer, 24, were convicted earlier this year of an armed carjacking in July 2015. Jackson was also convicted of carjacking a couple the following day. The jury found Jackson brandished a firearm in both attacks while Palmer used a firearm in the first carjacking.
Jackson was sentenced to more than 64 years in prison by U.S. Chief Judge Patricia A. Gaughan.
Palmer was sentenced to more than 14 years in prison. That sentence will be served after he completes a seven-year prison sentence in state court for felonious assault. He still has a murder trial pending in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.
Tervon’tae Taylor, of Cleveland Heights, D’wan Dillard, Jr.,and Calvin Rembert, both of Cleveland, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in carjackings in and around Tremont in the summer of 2015.
According to evidence and testimony introduced in the week-long trial:
Palmer and Jackson were members of the Heartless Felons street gang. They were feuding with a different set of Heartless Felons. The defendants planned to do a drive-by shootings aimed at members of the rival group, so they went to Tremont to steal a car so they would be unrecognizable during the drive-by shooting.
Palmer, Jackson, Taylor and Rembert saw a man loading a GMC Denali in the early morning hours of July 25, 2015. They held a loaded gun to the victim’s head, pistol-whipped him and stole his vehicle, his wallet and his cellular phone. The defendants used his credit cards to make purchases at a Wal Mart.
Jackson was involved in additional carjacking the following day when he pointed a loaded firearm at a couple in Tremont.
Dillard was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison. Rembert was sentenced to nearly six years in prison. Taylor is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 12 and faces a guideline range of up to 40 years in prison.
“These defendants preyed on innocent people who were simply working, trying to make a living, or otherwise enjoying our city,” Herdman said. “As the judge noted during the hearing, people who terrorize a neighborhood will be held accountable for their actions.”
“These men terrorized victims and the city with their dangerous, gun-wielding car thefts,” Anthony said. “The Violent Crime Task Force and our local partners are committed to aggressively investigate predators who choose to engage in heinous acts of violence against our citizens.”
“The Cleveland Division of Police will continue to work to keep our neighborhoods safe for all who live, work and play in our city,” Williams said. “These sentences send a strong message to gang members that their violence will not be tolerated.”
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly Galvin and Robert J. Patton following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Cleveland Division of Police.