Houston Couple admits to carjacking and beating Uber driver
HOUSTON, TX -- Two Houston residents have pleaded guilty to carjacking with the intent to cause death or serious bodily harm, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
On Nov. 13, 2022, Frank Lewis Blanco, 28, and Destinee Guerrero, 25, hailed an Uber at approximately 8:30 a.m. However, once inside the vehicle, they repeatedly changed their destination, directing the driver around Houston for approximately half an hour.
The driver ultimately asked the couple to get out of the car, but they refused. He stopped at a gas station and asked the attendant to call the police. While awaiting the arrival of authorities, the driver again asked Blanco and Guerrero to get out of his car. The couple then began to attack him, knocked him unconscious, repeatedly stomped and kicked his body and then stole his car.
The gas station cameras captured the beating.
“This couple senselessly beat an Uber driver unconscious for doing nothing more than trying to give them a ride,” said Hamdani. “My late father was a cab driver, and I can’t imagine the horror and fear he would have felt in that same situation. I want drivers to feel safe as they go to work each and every day. Hopefully, after today, cab and rideshare drivers alike can rest a bit easier knowing these two violent passengers will be off the streets.”
“Once again, violent criminals thought they were entitled to break the law and get away with it. In this case, to savagely beat their Uber driver and steal his vehicle. And once again, the heavy arm of the federal justice system caught up with them and stopped them in their tracks,” said Special Agent in Charge James Smith of the FBI Houston Field Office. “These criminals are unrelenting, and so are we.”
U.S. District Judge David Hittner accepted the pleas and set sentencing for Sept. 21. At that time, Blanco and Guerrero face up to 15 years in prison as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
Previously released on bond, the court ordered them into custody following the plea today where they will remain pending sentencing.
The FBI conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Houston Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stuart Tallichet is prosecuting the case.