Essex County Man Sentenced to 147 Months in Prison for Carjacking and Related Crimes

NEWARK—An Essex County, New Jersey man responsible for a gunpoint carjacking in Newark last winter was sentenced today to 147months in prison, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Taj Elliot, 24, of Newark, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas to a three-count information charging him with conspiracy to commit carjacking; theft of a motor vehicle by force, violence, and intimidation; and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Judge Salas imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Elliot admitted that between November 2010 and February 2011, he conspired with others to commit carjackings in order to profit from resale of the vehicles, to use stolen cars to carjack other vehicles, and to take personal items from carjacked passengers.

Elliot admitted he and others carjacked a Nissan Maxima on January 10, 2011, in Newark. The co-conspirators approached the victim, who was standing near the car on Park Ave., and ordered the victim to surrender the car keys and other personal items. At least one of the co- conspirators pointed a loaded gun at the victim. Elliot and the others took the Maxima and sped away.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Salas sentenced Elliot to five years of supervised release.

This case was brought as part of a cooperative effort between federal, state, and local law enforcement to address a spike in carjacking and related crimes in and around Essex County.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Violent Crimes/Fugitive Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark; the Newark Police Department, under the leadership of Director Samuel A. DeMaio and Chief Sheilah A. Coley; and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray, with the investigation.