MINNEAPOLIS – Late last week in federal court, a 45-year-old man was sentenced for carjacking an Airport Taxi taxicab on January 29, 2011. On July 20, 2012, United States District Court Judge Patrick J. Schiltz sentenced Antonius Brett El-X, address unknown, to 176 months in prison on one count of interference with commerce by robbery pursuant to the Hobbs Act. El- X was indicted on March 22, 2011, and pleaded guilty on January 10, 2012.
In his plea agreement, El-X, also known as Brett Anthony Anderson, admitted that on January 29, 2011, he requested that an Airport Taxi pick him up at a Crystal hotel. While traveling in the front passenger seat, he then lifted his leg over the center console and slammed on the brakes. He tried to push the driver out of the vehicle, threatening the use of force. The driver fled and called police. Officers used GPS to track the cab, which El-X ultimately crashed before being arrested.
The Hobbs Act, passed by Congress in 1946, provides federal jurisdiction for cases involving violent, habitual criminals who commit armed robbery in businesses engaged in interstate commerce. Federal prosecution of these offenders is sometimes beneficial since the penalties may be tougher than under state law. To that end, the U.S. Attorney's Office and its County Attorney partners work together to determine where each violent offender will most effectively be prosecuted.
This case was the result of an investigation by the Crystal Police Department and the U.S. ATF. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie E. Allyn.