By Joe Johnson
A convicted felon this week pleaded guilty in federal court to a series of carjackings he committed in Athens and other communities in Georgia and Carolina, according to the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia.
During the 2018 crime spree, 30-year-old Demetrius Lamar “Meechy” Jackson of Savannah pistol-whipped an elderly woman in Athens before stealing her vehicle.
The crime spree ended when after Jackson was shot during an aattempted robbery at a store in South Carolina.
Jackson on Thursday pleaded guilty to discharging and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to crimes of violence, carjacking , attempted carjacking, interference with commerce by robbery, and conspiracy to use and carry firearms during crimes of violence, U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine said in a Wednesday news release.
Jackson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 17 years in prison, but the court retains the authority to sentence Jackson to prison for life, and there is no parole in the federal system, according to Christine.
Jackson has an extensive crininal history and served several sentences in prison dating to 2007. Most of his convictions were for sex crime, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections. He completed his most recent sentence in August 2017 at Hays State Prison.
“Jackson is a dangerous, violent criminal whose rampage across two states left innocent people injured and victimized – and fortunate to still be alive,” Christine said. “A law-abiding citizen with a legal firearm finally brought Jackson’s reign of terror to an end, and a substantial federal prison term will ensure the community’s safety from him for many years to come.”
According to court statements and filings Jackson committed a two-and-a-half-week crime spree across Georgia and South Carolina, including:
· Nov. 6, 2018: Jackson robbed an employee of a Boost Mobile store in Savannah at gunpoint while the employee was transporting cash for the store. Jackson shot the store manager in the abdomen when she came to assist, and then fled the scene in a car driven by his accomplice, Nautica Morgan, 23, of Savannah.
· Nov. 12: Jackson approached a young couple who was washing a Nissan sedan at a midtown Savannah carwash. Jackson pointed a gun at them and twice pulled the trigger, but the gun malfunctioned. Jackson then sped away in the victims’ car.
· Nov. 13: Jackson robbed a Valdosta, Ga., Boost Mobile employee and his girlfriend at gunpoint. The getaway car was the one stolen at the Savannah car wash.
· Nov. 19: Morgan attempted to steal merchandise from a beauty store in Augusta, Ga. When the store manager followed Morgan, Jackson pointed a gun at the manager. Jackson and Morgan later carjacked a vehicle at gunpoint from a woman at a nearby CVS. Later that day, at a Walgreens pharmacy in Conyers, Ga., Jackson held a man at gunpoint and attempted to steal his car, then stole a purse.
· Nov. 20: Jackson robbed a Boost Mobile store in East Point, Ga. Armed with a pistol, Jackson ordered the store’s employees to empty the cash register and safe. He then demanded the employees kneel on the floor of a back room and surrender a key to the store and their personal cell phones, debit cards, and cash before he fled.
· Nov. 21: Jackson carjacked a 73-year-old woman in Athens, Ga., while she was vacuuming her SUV. Jackson threatened to shoot her and then pistol-whipped her in the head. Later that same day, Jackson walked into a Boost Mobile store in Aiken, S.C., pulled out a gun and demanded money. Before he left with the store’s cash, Jackson seized an employee’s cellphone and smashed it.
· Nov. 23: Jackson attempted to rob a Boost Mobile store in Columbia, S.C., but a store employee shot Jackson during the robbery. To drive Jackson to a nearby emergency room, Morgan used a Chevrolet Tahoe that she and Jackson had carjacked in Georgetown, S.C., a few hours earlier.
Jackson and Morgan were both arrested shortly after the shooting, and a search of the Tahoe revealed bloody clothes, the stolen .22 caliber pistol used in the crimes, and numerous stolen items.
For her role in the crime spree, Morgan was charged with federal crimes in the U.S District of South Carolina. On Aug. 27, 2019, Morgan pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to use and carry a firearm during crimes of violence and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.
Jackson’s charges stem from two separate indictments brought by grand juries sitting in the Northern and Southern Districts of Georgia. The Northern District’s indictment was transferred to the Southern District. The U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Middle District of Georgia and District of South Carolina were important in bringing these cases to resolution.
“Jackson committed horrible violent acts, even pointing and firing guns at men and women of various ages and backgrounds with no regard for their lives,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak of the Northern District of Georgia. “We are committed to safe neighborhoods and communities no matter where they are. This case should clarify for anyone who chooses to follow in Jackson’s footsteps that we will find you and we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”
“I want to commend the law enforcement agencies in Georgia and South Carolina who tracked down and captured a violent man bent on causing grave harm to whomever crossed his path during this terrorizing crime spree,” said Charlie Peeler, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. “We are pleased that justice will be served for the innocent victims in this matter.”
“Jackson went on a weeks-long crime spree and terrorized innocent individuals across two states. Hopefully the victims who were traumatized by him can take comfort in the fact that he has pled guilty and will now have to pay the penalty for his reign of terror,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Atlanta office. “The FBI would like to thank our state and local law enforcement partners who helped bring this violent defendant to justice.”
This case was investigated by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Savannah Police Department, the Richland County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Department, the Valdosta Police Department, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, the East Point Police Department, the City of Conyers Police Department, the Aiken (S.C.) Department of Public Safety, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, and the Georgetown (S.C.) City Police Department.