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Press Release

Columbus man charged federally for allegedly setting up fake online sales to lure victims, steal their money & shoot them

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Ohio
Additional potential victims asked to call law enforcement

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A Columbus man allegedly pretended to be selling a car and pretended to be an online escort in order to rob victims at gunpoint. Further, the man allegedly brandished a firearm during the robberies and shot and struck two victims.


Keith Jorel Hudson, 34, was charged federally today and is scheduled to appear in federal court tomorrow afternoon.


According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, on March 5, Hudson met up with a victim who had communicated with Hudson on Facebook Messenger regarding a post stating Hudson was selling a black Honda Accord.


It is alleged that when the victim arrived at a meetup location on Spencer Court in Columbus, Hudson brandished a firearm and demanded the victim drop his wallet and keys.


The affidavit details that the victim complied. As Hudson reached to pick up the wallet, the victim grabbed his own keys and attempted to flee in his car. Hudson allegedly blocked the victim from entering his car, pistol whipped the victim, and shot him in the back of the neck. The round entered and exited the victim’s neck, leaving a flesh wound and shattering the victim’s car window.


The victim was able to flag down a Columbus police officer a short distance away and was transported to Grant Hospital.


On March 20, according to the affidavit, a second victim responded to an online advertisement. This post was a dating advertisement on a personals webpage.


The second victim arrived at the Hickory Creek Apartments complex to meet a female and pay her for sexual activity. Instead, Hudson allegedly approached him and pointed a handgun at him, demanding cash from him.


The victim gave Hudson the $30 he had in his possession and began to leave. The victim attempted to take a picture of Hudson’s license plate when Hudson began shooting at the victim. The victim attempted to flee and Hudson pursued the victim in his vehicle. Hudson fired his gun again near the intersection of Schrock Road and Ambleside Drive and struck the victim in his hand. The gunfire also disabled the victim’s car.


Shortly thereafter, Hudson was located by Columbus Police officers and arrested. 


Hudson is charged with two counts of robbery and two counts of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. Congress sets the maximum statutory sentence. Sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the Court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.


David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Jonathan McPherson, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan announced the charges. Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Prichard is representing the United States in this case.


A criminal complaint merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.


If you believe you are also a victim or have any information related to this alleged conduct, please contact Columbus Police Detectives Brian Boesch at 614-230-3173 or John Herman at 614-645-4665.


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Updated March 24, 2020

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime