Tyree Dawon Washington, age 22 of Detroit, was convicted in federal district court yesterday on three counts of carjacking, three counts involving the use of a firearm during a crime of violence, and two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade. She was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Andrew G. Arena, Federal Bureau of Investigation. At least one of these three carjackings happened in the Warrendale area.
The jury trial, which began on September 13, 2011, was presided over by the Hon. Denise Page Hood.
Evidence presented at trial established that between March 12, 2011 and March 14, 2011, Mr. Washington, a previously convicted felon, while in the company of two other men, committed three separate carjackings. The first occurred in the evening hours of March 12 in Detroit during which the victim, a 21-year-old man, was shot twice in a failed attempt to take his car. He survived his injuries when his girlfriend sped from the scene and took him to an area hospital.
The second offense occurred on March 14 at 3:30 p.m. in Dearborn. A man and his wife, while accompanied by their 14-year-old son, were on their way to visit the boy’s maternal grandmother at an assisted living complex. As they exited their car, the family was ambushed by Mr. Washington and a second individual who robbed them at gunpoint. The woman’s purse and a 2009 Dodge Charger were taken.
The third carjacking occurred in Eastpointe, when a young woman who had been shopping at a beauty supply store at 8 Mile and Gratiot, was robbed and carjacked by Washington. During that offense, Mr. Washington threatened to kill both the woman and her 5-year-old child.
In all of the offenses, Washington and his co-defendants were armed with .45 caliber handguns. They had hoped to steal the custom wheels on the vehicles and sell them on the street.
The jury returned a guilty verdict as to all eight counts. Mr. Washington is in custody awaiting his sentence on January 5, 2012. He faces a minimum sentence of 60 years in prison.
“This case demonstrates the impact federal prosecution can have on fighting violent crime,” Ms. McQuade said. “We are hopeful that these convictions will deter others from committing armed violent crimes in our community.”
Ms. McQuade praised the work of the Violent Crime Task Force and officers of the Detroit Police Department who are also members of the task force. She also praised the work of the Eastpointe Police Department who’s initial efforts in the March 14 investigation provided critical evidence in the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys John O’Brien, Jeanine Brunson, and Justin Letts prosecuted the case for the United States.