CLEVELAND – Thomas J.D. Williams, 19, of Maple Heights, Ohio, was sentenced on Monday, May 8, 2023, to 15 years in prison by U.S. District Judge James S. Gwin after he pleaded guilty to three counts of carjacking and two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
Donteze Congress, 19, of Maple Heights, Ohio, was sentenced on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, to 15 years in prison by U.S. District Judge James S. Gwin after he pleaded guilty to three counts of carjacking and two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
According to court documents, in three separate incidents on August 9, 2022, Congress, Williams, and co-defendant Kenneth Franklin used firearms and threats of violence to steal vehicles. 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 the victim’s 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 two or three of the carjackers brandishing firearms, threatening violence, and demanding the keys to the vehicle.
Court documents state that later that day, 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.
Co-defendant Kenneth Franklin is scheduled to be sentenced on June 5, 2023.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Solon Police Department, Cuyahoga Falls Police Department, Streetsboro Police Department, and the Garfield Heights Police Department.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Peter E. Daly and Christopher J. Joyce.