3 sentenced to federal prison for carjackings targeting Uber, Lyft drivers

Three Minneapolis men have been sentenced to federal prison for their roles in what prosecutors called a violent series of carjackings targeting rideshare drivers.

Twenty-year-old Shevirio Kavirion Childs-Young, 21-year-old William Charles Saffold, 23-year-old Javeyon Demario Tate and 20-year-old Eric Harrell Knight each pleaded guilty to conspiring to use guns during crimes of violence, and Saffold also pleaded guilty to assaulting a federal officer.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Childs-Young was sentenced to eight years (96 months) in prison on Monday; Tate was sentenced to 6½ years (78 months) on Tuesday; and Knight was sentenced to five years (60 months) on Wednesday. All three will also serve three years of supervised release after their prison sentences.

Saffold is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.

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“The defendants targeted innocent people who were simply doing their jobs,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said on Wednesday. “The crimes committed by these four men contributed to the sharp increase in violent carjackings throughout the Twin Cities in recent years and left victims with physical and emotional scars. I commend our law enforcement partners for their tireless efforts in bringing these defendants to justice.”

Authorities say the men lured Uber and Lyft drivers to locations to pick up or drop off passengers but, when they arrived, held them at gunpoint, demanded cellphones and wallets and often forced them to give them phone passcodes so they could transfer money to their accounts through apps. In some cases, they also assaulted the victims.

Minneapolis police and the FBI worked together to arrest the four and released statements Wednesday saying the sentencings “send a clear message” that anyone who commits a violent crime will be brought to justice.