FARGO – Interim United States Attorney Nicholas W. Chase announced that U.S. District Court Chief Judge Peter D. Welte sentenced CJ Jesse James Carruthers, age 20, Fargo, ND, to 10 years in federal prison for Interfere with Commerce by Threats and Violence – Hobbs Act Robbery, 18 USC § 01951 and Conspiracy to commit a Hobbs Act Robbery. Chief Judge Welte also sentenced Carruthers to 3 years’ supervised release and a $62,575.36 in restitution.
On March 22, 2021, CJ Carruthers, while robbing an alleged drug dealer in West Fargo ND, with Germond Johnson, Jr., fired his firearm striking the robbery victim’s vehicle. The robbery victim returned fire and one of the bullets travelled through the exterior wall of an adjacent house, hitting a 6-year-old child while he was lying in his bed. The 6-year-old child survived his extensive injuries as a result of being struck by the stray bullet.
Carruthers’ co-defendant, Germond Edward Johnson Jr., age 18, Fargo, ND, pleaded guilty on February 23, 2022, to One Count of Interfere with Commerce by Threats and Violence – Hobbs Act Robbery, 18 USC § 1951 and Conspiracy to commit a Hobbs Act Robbery. Sentencing is set for July 6, 2022.
“When drug offenders bring and use firearms while committing their drug and theft trade, so many law-abiding innocent people are needlessly placed at risk and in this situation, the most innocent among us was seriously hurt,” said Interim U.S. Attorney Nick Chase. “This case is another great example of local and federal partners joining together to solve what can be best described as a senseless criminal act and this sentence sends a stout message that violent crime in our communities will not go undisciplined.”
“This tragic case is a definitive example of why firearms do not belong in the hands of criminals,” said ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jon Ortiz, of the St. Paul Field Division. “A young boy nearly lost his life because of a brazen and senseless act. We hope today’s sentence brings justice to the family of the victim. We are grateful for the tireless efforts of the West Fargo Police Department on this case as well as for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in obtaining this successful prosecution.”
This case was investigated by the West Fargo Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office, with Assistant United States Attorney Richard Lee assigned to the case.