Two Men Admit Carjacking Uber Driver in Newark
NEWARK, N.J. – Two men today admitted their roles in a Newark carjacking in which a firearm was brandished, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig announced today.
Rakeem McNair, 21, of Roselle, New Jersey, pleaded guilty today to an information charging him with one count each of carjacking and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of the carjacking. Raquin Tanner, 25, of Newark, pleaded guilty on March 10, 2021, to one count of aiding and abetting the carjacking. Both defendants entered their guilty pleas by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo and remained detained.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Aug. 13, 2019, the victim parked her car, which she used for her work as an Uber driver, on Summer Avenue in Newark. At approximately 11:00 p.m., the victim was sitting in the driver’s seat when three males approached her car.
Video surveillance from the scene showed that Tanner walked with the other two males around the corner. As they neared the victim’s car, Tanner spoke to the other two, then went ahead of them, looked into the passenger seat of the car, an upon seeing the lone female driver, signaled the other two males to begin the carjacking.
One of the other males pointed a firearm through the driver’s side window, opened the door and attempted to physically remove the victim from the car. A struggle ensued, and McNair went around the car to aid his conspirator in dragging the victim from the car. McNair and the unidentified male threw the victim violently to the ground and drove away with the vehicle.
The carjacking count carries a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison. The brandishing of a firearm during a crime of violence count is punishable by a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison, which must run consecutively to any term of imprisonment imposed on any other charges. Sentencing is scheduled for July 27, 2021, for McNair and July 12, 2021, for Tanner.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose; the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II; and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas.
The government is represented by Senior Trial Counsel Robert Frazer of the Organized Crime/Gang Unit in Newark.