The Washington Post

Three teenagers plead guilty in day-long series of carjacking­s in October

- BY SPENCER S. HSU spencer.hsu@washpost.com

Three young District men pleaded guilty Thursday and face up to years in prison for a day-long spree of eight armed carjacking­s last October across Northwest and Northeast Washington.

Romeo Francisco Ramirez, Cristian Andy Santay-rosales and Diego Rigoberto Lopez, each 18, of Washington, pleaded guilty to four federal counts of conspiracy, aiding and abetting, and carjacking. Their attorneys declined to comment afterward.

The men agreed in plea deals with the U.S. attorney’s office for the District to sentencing ranges of up to about 10 years in prison, although the guidelines are not binding for U.S. District Judge

Royce C. Lamberth at sentencing June 25.

The three have been jailed since their arrest after a 12-hourlong carjacking string that began after noon on a Monday and cut through neighborho­ods including Columbia Heights, Brightwood and Spring Valley. Victims held at gunpoint included a woman who said she and three children were ordered out of an

Infiniti QX60 near a constructi­on site in Columbia Heights, and a shopper heading from a grocery store in Brookland to their parked black 2017 Mercedes-benz GLC300 Coupe, according to court documents.

Santay-rosales and Ramirez were arrested and hospitaliz­ed after flipping the Mercedes-benz while attempting to flee police that evening, according to court filings. Lopez was picked up the next day in a Kia Optima stolen at about 1:25 a.m. from its owner in Capitol Heights, court papers said.

Carjacking­s have spiked in the region, as of March climbing about 140 percent compared to the same time last year to more than 345 in the District. Similar increases have been reported across the region, with local and federal law enforcemen­t creating a task force to address the problem.

D.C. authoritie­s last month charged two District girls, 13 and 15, with carrying a stun device in the fatal carjacking of a 66-yearold Uber Eats driver, Mohammad Anwar, who was thrown from his Honda Accord during a crash near Nationals Park.

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