Two Kentucky men arrested in connection with an armed carjacking in Buffalo last week now face federal charges.
Aweys Hussein, 20, and Jeylani Bakari, 22, both of Louisville, were charged by criminal complaint in federal court with carjacking and brandishing firearms in furtherance of a crime of violence, U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy said in a statement Thursday.
The federal charges were filed in lieu of the state charges, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Just before 12:30 a.m. on June 11, three young men approached a Dodge Charger at gunpoint on Woltz Avenue, between Sycamore Street and Walden Avenue, and drove away, Buffalo police said.
According to federal prosecutors, one of them approached the passenger side with a Glock handgun, told one victim to get out of the vehicle and said: “Give me the money, give me the keys, or you're going to die," adding an expletive. A second victim was taken out of the vehicle, pushed to the ground, and another of the suspects went through that victim's pockets. The three suspects then fled the scene in the Charger, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah E. Lenihan.
About 15 minutes later, patrol officers spotted the stolen vehicle near Moselle and East Ferry streets and tried to pull it over, but the driver took off. Officers pursued the vehicle for about four miles until it crashed near Niagara and West Mohawk streets, where the three suspects were arrested. They included Hussein, Bakari and a 16-year-old. They were charged locally with robbery, forcible theft with a deadly weapon, unauthorized use of a vehicle and criminal possession of a loaded firearm.
Police said they recovered loaded weapons – two handguns and a rifle and ammunition. The loaded Glock had an extended magazine with 24 rounds in it, according to a police report and federal court documents.
Bakari had a backpack that allegedly contained 17 suspected Xanax bars, 18 bags containing a crystal-like substance, 27 suspected ecstasy pills, an unknown black substance, eight vaping cartridges and a bag of suspected marijuana.
Hussein and Bakari were arrested on state charges including robbery, forcible theft with a deadly weapon, unauthorized use of a vehicle and criminal possession of a loaded firearm.
After an appearance in federal court on Wednesday, both were put into custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.