Parma Man Sentenced to Prison for Conspiracy to Commit Arson During May 30, 2020, Demonstrations and Unrest in Downtown Cleveland
CLEVELAND – Three Northeast Ohio men pleaded guilty on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, to three separate armed carjacking incidents that occurred in a single day on Aug. 9, 2022.
Donteze Congress 18, of Maple Heights, Ohio, pleaded guilty to three counts of carjacking and two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
Thomas J.D. Williams, 18, of Maple Heights, Ohio, pleaded guilty to three counts of carjacking and two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
Kenneth Franklin, 19, of Akron, Ohio, pleaded guilty to three counts of carjacking and two counts of aiding and abetting possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
According to court documents, on three separate occasions on August 9, 2022, defendants Congress, Williams, Franklin, and a minor co-conspirator used firearms and threats of violence to steal a vehicle. During two of the armed carjacking incidents, court documents say that the defendants, riding together in a vehicle, intentionally crashed their vehicle into the rear of a victim vehicle to cause a minor traffic incident. In the third incident, the defendants followed the victim’s vehicle to a shopping center parking lot.
Court documents state that on each occasion, as the victim exited their vehicle, they were confronted by one or two of the defendants brandishing firearms, threatening violence, and demanding the keys to the vehicle. During each incident, the defendants stole the vehicle and fled the scene.
Later that day, court documents state that officers with the Solon Police Department, along with assistance from other jurisdictions, located Williams driving in one of the stolen vehicles. Williams was later arrested and found to be in possession of a victim credit card and a loaded pistol.
Defendant Williams is scheduled to be sentenced on May 8, 2023. Defendant Congress is scheduled to be sentenced on May 9, 2023. Defendant Franklin is scheduled to be sentenced on May 22, 2023.
This case was investigated by the Cleveland FBI, Solon Police Department, Cuyahoga Falls Police Department, Streetsboro Police Department, and the Garfield Heights Police Department.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Peter E. Daly and Christopher J. Joyce.