Thursday, April 4, 2024

Philadelphia Man Pleads Guilty To Murder In A Case Involving Two Carjackings Of Food Delivery Drivers

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, released the below information.

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that John Nusslein, 19, of Philadelphia, PA, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit carjacking, one count of carjacking resulting in death, and one count of carjacking resulting in serious bodily injury.

Nusslein was charged by indictment in June 2022 with these offenses, in connection with a series of carjackings of food delivery drivers in Northeast Philadelphia during November and December of 2021.

According to the indictment, the defendant and others committed two carjackings during the course of the conspiracy that took place between November 29, 2021, and December 29, 2021. The incidents detailed are as follows:

  • On December 2, 2021, Nusslein and two others placed a food delivery order to an address on the 3000 block of Teesdale Street in Philadelphia, as a ruse to lure their intended victim to that location. At approximately 7:00 p.m., when C.C., a food delivery driver, arrived at that location, Nusslein, Person 1, and Person 2 approached C.C. and struck him repeatedly to facilitate the taking of C.C.’s vehicle, a 2004 Toyota Camry. Nusslein, Person 1, and Person 2 then fled the area in C.C.’s stolen Toyota Camry. C.C. was later taken to the hospital by first responders. On December 21, 2021, C.C. succumbed to his injuries and the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the cause of death was the assault that C.C. sustained during the carjacking.
  • On December 16, 2021, Nusslein and Person 1 placed a food delivery order to an address on the 9000 block of Hilspach Street in Philadelphia, as a ruse to lure their intended victim to that location. At approximately 9:10 p.m., when W.Z., a food delivery driver, arrived at that location, Nusslein and Person 1 approached W.Z., pointed a firearm at him, demanded his money, and struck him to facilitate the taking of W.Z.’s vehicle, a 2015 Infiniti QX5. Nusslein and Person 1 then fled the area in W.Z.’s stolen Infiniti QX5.

“The fact that these carjackers specifically lured two innocent people trying to make a living is despicable,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “That Nusslein and the others so brutally beat one driver that his injuries proved fatal is horrific. We and our partners on the Philadelphia Carjacking Task Force simply won’t permit violent offenders like Nusslein to victimize people with impunity. They will be prosecuted, and they will go to prison for a very long time.”

“Carjacking is a serious federal crime with lengthy prison sentences. This case also demonstrates that carjacking is a deadly dangerous crime,” said Eric J. DeGree, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Philadelphia Field Division. “ATF Philadelphia Field Division is working diligently with our partners in the Philadelphia Carjacking Task Force, sharing the ATF’s unique forensic and investigative tools to ensure justice for the victims and to make our communities safer through federal prosecution.”

“This case is a tragic reminder that carjackings can have deadly consequences,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin J. Bethel. “The senseless assault on these food delivery drivers is appalling and unacceptable. I commend the outstanding collaboration between the Philadelphia Police Department, the ATF, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for their work in bringing this case to justice. Our carjacking task force remains vigilant in investigating these crimes and will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the safety of Philadelphians.”

Nusslein is set to be sentenced on July 31, 2024, before United States District Court Judge John M. Younge, and faces a maximum possible sentence of life in prison.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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 Lauren E. Stram and Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Eckert.

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