NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — New details in a multi-agency pursuit and carjacking, as four people now face federal charges. The turn of events unfolded on May 11 after undercover detectives prevented a confrontation between rival groups where gunfire would have been exchanged, according to metro police.
The federal charges in the case involving gangs, guns, and a carjacking—just the latest example of the U.S. Attorney’s aggressive strategy against violent crime
“It is a very serious case,” U.S. Attorney Mark Wildasin said.
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On May 11, undercover officers worked surveillance at Cumberland Pointe Apartments after they received information on a planned shooting between a member of the criminal street gang, Vice Lords, and a hybrid gang known as “Bizzle.”
“There is no community immune to gang crime and you are going to see a lot of gun crime with gangs, absolutely no question,” stated Wildasin.
Officers followed 20-year-old Javon Kelley and three others as they left the neighborhood and a pursuit soon ensued, crossing into Clarksville where the suspects crashed.
According to the federal complaint, all four then pointed guns at a driver before taking off with their truck. The suspects soon crashed the vehicle, landing Kelly, 19-year-old Juan Rodriguez, 18-year-old I’yendaye Byrd, and 18-year-old Armesia Newsom behind bars.
“You have, I think five weapons recovered afterward, four suspects. It’s a very serious case, but it’s also just one example of the type of violent crime we prosecute here in the U.S. Attorney’s office. We have a very active Project Safe Neighborhoods program,” Wildasin explained.
The program focuses on the drivers of crime—repeat offenders—creating unsafe communities. Wildasin said, oftentimes, those offenders are in gangs.
In this case, investigators say Kelley was free on bond in connection to an aggravated robbery arrest. Rodriguez was convicted of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon earlier this year. Byrd was previously arrested at age 16 and charged with criminal homicide for a deadly shooting in 2020. He was wearing an ankle monitor when he was arrested
The arrests were a team effort from multiple agencies and much of it was captured on video.
If convicted, the defendants face at least seven years, and up to life in prison.