ST. LOUIS – Najee Neal, 30, of St. Louis, Missouri, appeared before United States District Court Judge Sarah E. Pitlyk on today’s date and pleaded guilty to carjacking, brandishing a firearm in furtherance of that carjacking, and felon in possession of a firearm. Neal also pleaded guilty to a separate offense of being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with an unrelated incident.
On February 27, 2020, just after the victim parked his car in the driveway of a residence in Kirkwood, he noticed a vehicle (occupied by Neal and an accomplice) pull behind his car. Neal exited his vehicle and approached the victim. Neal pointed a pistol at the victim and ordered the victim out of his car and to empty his pockets. Neal took the victim’s wallet and key fob by force and ordered the victim to the ground. Neal entered the victim’s car. A witness approached the scene. The victim warned the witness that the robber had a gun. As Neal drove off, he threatened the witness. Neal’s accomplice followed Neal out of the area.
Minutes later, police spotted Neal in the victim’s car. Neal eluded police at speeds of over 100 miles per hour on Interstate 44. Approximately 45 minutes later, police spotted Neal and activated their emergency lights. Neal attempted to elude officers by running traffic signals and running up on sidewalks. Neal abandoned the carjacked vehicle after it became disabled. Officers pursued Neal on foot. Neal dumped his pistol near the porch area of a nearby home. Neal was arrested a short distance away after ignoring orders to stop. The pistol was recovered. The carjacking victim identified the pistol as the pistol Neal used to steal the victim’s car.
Several months earlier, on September 28, 2019, police, after receiving reports of illegal drug sales in the area of the M & K Market, near the 12000 block of Bellefontaine Road in St. Louis County, spotted Neal engaged in suspicious activity from his parked vehicle. An investigation by the police resulted in the seizure a loaded pistol between the driver’s seat and center console. Police also seized marijuana and a scale from the driver’s door of the vehicle.
Prior to September 28, 2019, Neal was convicted of one or more felony crimes. Neal was prohibited from possessing firearms as a result of his criminal record.
Neal will be sentenced for the above offenses on October 5, 2021.
The above cases were investigated by the Kirkwood Police Department, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, St. Louis County Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Szczucinski is handling the matter.