ST. LOUIS – A 19-year-old Belleville man was sentenced to seven years Wednesday for armed carjacking.
According to court documents, the crime occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. on May 31, 2018, at the BP station in the 1400 block of Chouteau Avenue.
The victim was sitting in his 2003 Trailblazer when two men approached, pointed a revolver at him, and ordered him out of the vehicle. The suspects took the victim’s cellphone and drove off in the Trailblazer.
Later that evening, East St. Louis police observed the stolen Trailblazer and attempted to stop it. The two men in the vehicle led police on a high-speed pursuit from East St. Louis and into St. Louis. They also rammed a police car during the pursuit, which ended after the Trailblazer crashed near Jennings Station Road in north St. Louis County.
Both men attempted then flee on foot but were eventually apprehended by police. They were identified as Timothy Blassingame and Andre King.
Blassingame was 17 years old at the time he committed these crimes. He pleaded guilty in July 2018 to one count of carjacking and another count of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
This prosecution and 84-month sentence were part of a coordinated effort by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri and Southern District of Illinois.
More specifically, Blassingame’s sentence was ordered to be served consecutively to any sentence imposed in the Southern District of Illinois. Those proceedings, which charged Blassingame and King with interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle and armed robbery, remain ongoing.
“To the young people in our community, know that you have a choice when it comes to guns: pick one up or put it down. We want you to put it down,” said United States Attorney Jeff Jensen. “In the last two years, this office has doubled the number of federal prosecutions of individuals who have chosen to pick-up firearms and commit violent acts with them. This specifically includes increased prosecution of juveniles.”
Jensen continued: “If you choose to take other people’s property and endanger the citizens of this district by using a firearm, federal prosecution, a lengthy prison sentence far away from the Saint Louis area, and intense court supervision afterward awaits.”