PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that John Nusslein, 18, of Philadelphia, PA, was arrested and charged by Indictment with carjacking resulting in death, carjacking resulting in serious bodily injury, conspiracy to commit carjacking, and carrying and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, all in connection with two carjacking incidents that occurred in December 2021 in Northeast Philadelphia. The defendant made his initial appearance in federal court on these charges today and was detained pending trial.
The Indictment alleges that on December 2, 2021, the defendant, in concert with others, placed a food delivery order to an address on the 3000 block of Teesdale Street as a ruse to lure their intended victim to that location. That evening, when the food delivery driver arrived on that block with the order, the defendant and his coconspirators approached the driver and struck him repeatedly, stole his vehicle and fled the area. As a result of the injuries sustained in this attack, the victim delivery driver succumbed to his injuries and died.
Then, on December 16, 2021, the defendant, in concert with others, followed the same plan and placed another food delivery order to an address on the 9000 block of Hilspach Street to lure another victim. When the food delivery driver arrived to deliver his cargo, the defendant and others approached the driver, pointed a firearm at him, demanded his money and struck him, stole his vehicle and then fled.
“Through our Office’s Carjacking Task Force, we are continuing to investigate, arrest and prosecute those responsible for the spate of carjackings we have seen in Philadelphia in recent months,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “As alleged, this defendant violently attacked two hard-working people, one of whom died as a result of his injuries. Carjacking is not game or a fun pastime, it is a serious federal crime with severe consequences.”
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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
The total maximum sentence for the defendant is the death penalty, or alternatively, a period of imprisonment up to life, with a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years imprisonment consecutive to any other sentence of imprisonment, and a $1,000,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the Philadelphia Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lauren E. Stram and Robert E. Eckert.
An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.