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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Oklahoma

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Two Men Sentenced for Carjacking and Firing at Law Enforcement

A federal judge sentenced two men today in U.S. District Court for conspiring to brandish a firearm during a Dec. 26, 2017, carjacking, and for firing at a Tulsa police officer during the resulting pursuit, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

U.S. District Judge John E. Dowdell sentenced Brandon Mendinghall, 24, of Stillwater, to 16 years in federal prison. As part of his guilty plea on Aug. 20, Mendinghall admitted to conspiring to rob a woman at gun point, steal the car she was driving and assist his co-conspirator during a police pursuit.

At a separate hearing, Judge Dowdell sentenced his co-conspirator, Michael Newlin, 19, of Owasso, to 32 years in federal prison for multiple charges, including conspiracy to carry, brandish and use a firearm during a crime of violence; carjacking; brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, obstruction of justice by attempting to kill a witness; and discharging a firearm at an officer. 

On Aug. 9, Newlin pleaded guilty to the charges, admitting that he brandished the firearm during the carjacking and fired at the officer while evading arrest. 

“Project Safe Neighborhoods was designed to prosecute violent criminals like Newlin and Mendinghall. These two defendants bought a ticket to federal prison the moment they decided to carjack the victims and then shoot at a police officer,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “The facts of this case are a stark reminder of the frequent dangers encountered by police officers as they risk their lives to protect our community. Tulsa is a safer place with these two behind bars. Thanks to the joint local-federal investigations and prosecutions in this case, these defendants will face serious consequences for their acts.”

Both men have been and will remain in custody until transferred to a U.S. Bureau of Prison’s facility.

The FBI, Tulsa Police Department, and Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office were the investigative agencies.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan M. Roberts and Christopher J. Nassar represented the United States in this prosecution. Law enforcement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office partnered in this case as part of the Justice Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods. 

Project Safe Neighborhoods is the nationwide federal initiative to disrupt gun violence strategically and comprehensively, using all available enforcement and prosecutive tools.  The initiative involves a partnership of federal, state, and local authorities, uniting their efforts and leveraging existing and new resources. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and its partners tailor their efforts to meet their own district’s unique needs, helping ensure the safety of communities in the Northern District of Oklahoma.

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Lennea Montandon 918-382-2755
Updated November 20, 2018