New Jersey Man Sentenced to Over Ten Years for Violent Carjacking in Philadelphia Restaurant Parking Lot

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Sherman Artwell, 24, of Camden, NJ was sentenced to ten years and one month in prison, five year of supervised release by United States District Court Judge Paul S. Diamond for his participation in a violent carjacking in Philadelphia and flight to New Jersey in the stolen vehicle.

In November 2021, the defendant pleaded guilty to carjacking and using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. The charges arose from an incident that occurred in May 2018 in which the defendant, armed with a shotgun, and a juvenile co-conspirator approached the victim and his friend while the two were talking in the parking lot outside a Dunkin Donuts in Philadelphia. The two forcibly pulled the victim from the driver’s seat, threw him onto the ground, and pointed guns at him. The co-conspirator jumped into the driver’s seat of the victim’s vehicle, and the defendant got into the passenger seat. The two fled to New Jersey, and Camden County Police officers apprehended the juvenile co-defendant after he crashed the vehicle. The defendant was separately identified through video and forensic evidence and apprehended a short time later.

“As we have said many times since launching the #AllHandsOnDeck initiative, our Office and our federal partners are doing everything we can to support the Philadelphia Police Department and prosecute cases federally when appropriate,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “Here, the defendant participated in a brazen carjacking at gunpoint in the middle of the afternoon in busy neighborhood — an offense that certainly meets the criteria for federal prosecution. We are committed to bringing the full might of the federal justice system to this battle against the escalating number of carjackings.”

“Imagine the terror of being pulled from your car with a shotgun pointed straight at you,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “Sherman Artwell violently accosted an individual living his life, minding his business, just to take that vehicle. The FBI is firmly committed to working with our police partners to address the spate of carjackings that have been plaguing Philadelphia. People shouldn’t have to live in fear every time they get behind the wheel.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Philadelphia Police Department, and the Camden County (NJ) Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Parisi and Special Assistant United States Attorney Martin Howley.