A 19-year-old Beaumont man has pleaded guilty to carjacking and brandishing a firearm during a crime.
According to a news release issued Tuesday by U.S. Attorney John M. Bales, Emonte Jackson pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Ron Clark.
According to information presented in court, on Mar. 18, 2013, law enforcement officers spotted a vehicle which had been reported stolen in an aggravated robbery on Mar. 16, 2013. The driver, later identified as Emonte Jackson, evaded the officers in his vehicle during a high speed chase through a residential area of Beaumont. After striking two unattended vehicles, Jackson fled the scene and was apprehended underneath a house.
The vehicle Jackson was driving was identified as a 1996 Toyota Camry. This vehicle had been reported stolen on Mar. 16, 2013. The driver of the vehicle on Mar. 16, 2013 advised officers that she picked up Jackson, whom she had previously met, at a location in Beaumont, and agreed to pick up Jackson's "brother", later identified as Dwight Elam at a different location in Beaumont. Jackson had the driver drive around for approximately 45 minutes before having the driver drive them back to the location where Elam was picked up. At that location, Jackson attempted to take the car keys from the ignition and began struggling with and choking the driver. Jackson then pulled out a small, silver, semi-automatic pistol and threatened to shoot the driver if she did not relinquish her keys to him. Jackson then retrieved the car keys from the driver and threatened to kick her in the face if she would not leave the vehicle. During this time, Elam was demanding the cell phones from the driver and her friend who was in the vehicle with her. The friend gave her cell phone to Elam and left the scene. Jackson sped off in the Toyota Camry.
A federal grand jury indicted Jackson on Oct. 2, 2013. Jackson faces up to 15 years in federal prison for the carjacking offense and another seven years for the firearms violation. A sentencing date has not been set.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition and body armor, and improving the safety of residents in the Eastern District of Texas. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
This case is being investigated by the Beaumont Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Englade.