Couple handed significant prison time for beating Uber driver
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
HOUSTON – Two Houston residents have been ordered to federal prison following their conviction of carjacking with the intent to cause death or serious bodily harm, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Frank Lewis Blanco, 28, and Destinee Guerrero, 24, pleaded guilty June 23.
U.S. District Judge David Hittner has now imposed a 120-month term of imprisonment for Blanco, while Guerrero received 72 months. Both must also serve three years of supervised release following their sentences.
At the hearing, the court heard from the victim who described what happened to him and his subsequent injuries. He noted how Blanco and Guerrero treated his head like a football and the lasting damage to his eye and nose. The court also heard additional testimony including how the victim is an immigrant who is a hard-working man to support his wife and children. In handing down the prison terms, Judge Hittner commented on the “extreme violent nature and circumstances of the offense.”
“Justice is blind” said Hamdani. “Whether a businessman heading to the office or an immigrant climbing into the driver’s seat, everyone deserves to be safe at work. As the son of an immigrant cab driver, I am heartbroken for what the victim endured and suffered for just doing his job. Thankfully, the court, today, provided justice to this working class man.”
“Blanco and Guerrero’s actions tear apart the fabric of our community by targeting those who keep our community running. They disguised themselves as passengers to savagely beat and rob a carshare driver trying to earn an honest living,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge David Martinez of the FBI Houston field office. “These two attackers not only robbed their victim of his livelihood but his sense of security. We hope today’s sentence demonstrates to these types of criminals, and others still out there, that we will not allow them to target and terrorize hard-working members of our community.”
On Nov. 13, 2022, Blanco and Guerrero hailed an Uber at approximately 8:30 a.m. However, once inside the vehicle, they repeatedly changed their destination, directing the driver around Houston for approximately half an hour.
The driver ultimately asked the couple to get out of the car, but they refused. He stopped at a gas station and asked the attendant to call the police. While awaiting the arrival of authorities, the driver again asked Blanco and Guerrero to get out of his car. The couple then began to attack him, knocked him unconscious, repeatedly stomped and kicked his body and then stole his car.
The gas station cameras captured the beating.
Both have been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The FBI conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Houston Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stuart Tallichet is prosecuting the case.
Updated September 21, 2023