From a Release by U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern District of WV

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Parkersburg man pleaded guilty  to a federal carjacking charge, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Marshall Leroy Saunders, 29, entered his guilty plea to a single-count indictment charging him with carjacking a taxi in Wood County.

Saunders was a suspect in an unrelated crime when police observed him entering a taxi in Vienna on October 6, 2016. Saunders admitted that when police attempted to pull the taxi over, he pointed a loaded pistol at the driver and ordered him out of the vehicle. Saunders then took control of the taxi and fled to Parkersburg, driving at speeds of up to 110 miles per hour, running a red light, and driving the taxi southbound in the northbound lane of Grand Central Avenue. Saunders abandoned the taxi in Parkersburg, then hid in a wooded area until he was apprehended by police.

Saunders faces up to 15 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on November 15, 2017.

The Vienna Police Department, the Parkersburg Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney James Matthew Davis is handling the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in the United States by networking existing local programs targeting gun crime.