BUFFALO, N.Y. — U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Jeylani Bakari, 22, and Aweys Hussein, 20, both of Louisville, KY, were arrested and charged by criminal complaint with carjacking and brandishing firearms in furtherance of a crime of violence. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of seven years in prison, a maximum of life, and a fine of $250,000.
“The defendants’ brazen and dangerous armed conduct as alleged in the criminal complaint reflects a growing disregard for both the consequences of one’s actions and the rule of law spreading throughout our cities and manifesting itself in increased violence,” noted U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “Therefore, it seems particularly fitting that their travels ultimately landed these defendants at one location at which personal accountability and respect for the rule of law still offer meaningful direction—in federal court facing criminal prosecution.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah E. Lenihan, who is handling the case, stated that in the early morning hours of June 11, 2021, the Buffalo Police Department received a 911 call of a carjacking that had occurred in the 200 block of Woltz Avenue. At that time, two victims were sitting inside of a Dodge Charger. Three males approached the vehicle with firearms. One approached the passenger side with a Glock firearm and told Victim 1 to get out of the vehicle and “Give me the money, give me the keys, or you're going to die, (expletive).” Victim 2 was taken out of the vehicle, pushed to the ground, and another male went through Victim 2’s pockets. The 3 males then fled the scene in the Dodge Charger.
Approximately 15 minutes after the carjacking, patrol units observed the Dodge Charger in the area of Moselle and East Ferry Streets. As officers attempted to stop the vehicle, the vehicle led the marked units on a chase for approximately four miles. The Dodge Charger then crashed near the comer of Elmwood Avenue and Niagara Street. Inside the vehicle, officers located the defendants Bakari and Hussein, as well as a male juvenile.
During a search of the vehicle, officers recovered three firearms and ammunition. Defendant Bakari had a backpack containing 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.
The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Byron Lockwood, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Buffalo Office, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia, and the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney John Flynn.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.