Minnesota Man Pleads Guilty in Violent Federal Carjacking Case
St. Paul (KROC-AM News) - A Minneapolis man has pleaded guilty to pulling a gun on an FBI agent and to his role in a violent carjacking ring.
Prosecutors say 20-year-old Williams Saffold engaged in violent carjackings and armed robberies targeting Uber and Lyft drivers between September and October 2021. As part of the scheme, Saffold and others lured drivers to particular locations under the guise of picking up or dropping off passengers.
Once the drivers arrived, members of the conspiracy brandished firearms and demanded the cell phones and wallets of the drivers. Members also held the drivers at gunpoint and forced them to unlock their phones and provide passwords.
Members then transferred money via cash applications from the drivers to their own accounts and carjacked the drivers at gunpoint. Members forced compliance by striking, pistol-whipping, and threatening to kill the drivers.
Court documents say on May 11, 2022, while attempting to execute an arrest warrant, an FBI agent approached Saffold, who immediately drew a pistol and pointed it at the agent before fleeing on foot.
Saffold pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of conspiracy to use, carry, and brandish firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and one count of assault on a federal officer.
A sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later date.