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2 face federal charges for violent carjacking in Columbia Heights

By WCCO Staff,

2023-03-15

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WCCO digital headlines: Morning of March 15, 2023 01:23

MINNEAPOLIS -- Two young men face federal charges in connection to a violent carjacking in the Twin Cities where the victim was held at gunpoint for several hours.

On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger announced that 18-year-old Jamel Funchess and 21-year-old T'Shawn Palton both face one count of carjacking.

According to charges, the victim had arrangements on Facebook Marketplace to buy a cell phone and was to meet the purported seller on Feb. 14 in Columbia Heights. When the victim arrived in a vehicle, they were carjacked by two men. At gunpoint, the victim was allegedly ordered to sit in the backseat. The suspects then drove off, and later picked up another person.

Court documents detail that the victim was held at gunpoint for the next several hours and robbed of their cell phone, wallet, credit cards and other banking information. The victim was also struck in the face with the firearm and threatened to be murdered. Eventually, the suspects dropped the victim on a road in St. Paul and drove away with their vehicle.

Using cell phone location data from the victim's phone, officers located Funchess, Palton and a third alleged kidnapper - as well as the victim's stolen items and vehicle.

Funchess and Palton made their first federal court appearance Tuesday.

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