PHILADELPHIA, PA — United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Dayon Hackett, 20, of Philadelphia, PA, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of carjacking and one count of attempted carjacking. Hackett and his co-defendants, Jaheym Newsome, 20, of Philadelphia, and Taquan Mershon, 19, of Philadelphia, were charged by Superseding Indictment with these offenses in connection with an armed carjacking they committed on December 22, 2021, in the Bridesburg section of Philadelphia, and an attempted armed carjacking in South Philadelphia later that same day. Newsome and Mershon pleaded guilty to these same charges on March 20, 2023.
As detailed in the Criminal Complaints previously filed in this case, in the first incident, Hackett, Newsome, and Mershon carjacked a man at gunpoint as he prepared to head to work in early morning hours of December 22, 2021. The three men then took the car they stole in Bridesburg and drove it South Philadelphia, where they attempted to carjack a man who was coming home from work and looking for a parking spot. Hackett and Newsome opened the door to that vehicle and attempted to pull the victim out of the car. Upon observing a firearm on the victim’s lap, Hackett and Newsome opened fire on the victim, striking him multiple times. The victim returned fire and Hackett was struck multiple times. Hackett and Newsome then returned to the waiting vehicle that Mershon was driving, and Mershon and Newsome dropped Hackett on the floor of a nearby emergency room, fleeing in the vehicle they had carjacked earlier that morning. All three individuals were subsequently identified, charged by federal Criminal Complaint, and taken into custody. A grand jury returned the Superseding Indictment on September 13, 2022.
“Today’s guilty plea is another fine example of the successful partnership that is the Philadelphia Carjacking Task Force,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “If you commit a violent offense like a gunpoint carjacking, you can expect the federal authorities to come knocking at your door.”
“ATF is on the frontline in the fight against violent crime, particularly armed carjackings,” said Eric DeGree, Special Agent in charge of ATF’s Philadelphia Field Division. “While we hope this case deters those willing to use gun violence against American citizens, ATF investigators stand ready to work with our local, state and federal partners whenever gun crime occurs in our community.”
The swift and relentless action to investigate and federally charge these defendants is the result of the Philadelphia Carjacking Task Force, which is comprised of members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Violent Crime Unit; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Philadelphia Police Department. The goal of the Taskforce is to stem the wave of armed carjackings and violent crimes through investigative and enforcement techniques meant to identify and refer for federal prosecution all who terrorize innocent victims through commission of these offenses within Philadelphia and surrounding areas.
After pleading guilty, Newsome is set to be sentenced on July 12, 2023, Mershon is set to be sentenced on July 24, 2023, and Hackett is set to be sentenced on August 14, 2023, before the Honorable Nitza I. Quinones-Alejandro.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Eckert.
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