Carjacking Suspects Facing Federal Charges After Multi-Agency Pursuit

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

NASHVILLE – Three Nashville, Tennessee, men and a Nashville woman are facing federal charges following a multi-agency pursuit that began in Nashville and ended in Clarksville, Tenn., announced U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Javon Kelly, 20, Juan Rodriguez, 19, I’yendale Byrd, 18, and Armesia Newsom, 18, were charged Friday in a criminal complaint with carjacking and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. 

According to the criminal complaint, on May 11, 2022, Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) TITANS Unit detectives were conducting surveillance in the area of the Cumberland Pointe Apartments, after receiving information from the FBI of a planned shooting, which was to be carried out by a member of the Vice Lords Gang.  Detectives observed Kelly and Rodriguez, who were armed with handguns, enter a vehicle driven by Newsom and also occupied by Byrd.  Detectives continued surveillance of the car as it travelled in a reckless manner on Buena Vista Pike. 

A MNPD detective attempted to stop the car, but it fled into Montgomery County and struck a light pole in Clarksville, after which the suspects fled on foot.  While being pursued by Clarksville Police officers, the suspects approached a Chevrolet Silverado truck, pointed their guns at the driver and ordered him from the truck.  The suspects then entered the truck and fled again, before crashing in Clarksville and being apprehended.  At the time of the arrest, five firearms were recovered from the suspects. 

If convicted, the defendants face a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years, and up to life in prison.

U.S. Attorney Wildasin commended the cooperative effort of all agencies in the apprehension of these defendants, including the FBI; the MNPD TITANS Team and Aviation Unit; the Tennessee Highway Patrol Aviation Unit; and the Clarksville Police Department.  Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Brantley is prosecuting the case.

The charges are merely accusations.  All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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