Facebook Marketplace robbery lands Flint man in federal prison

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FLINT (WJRT) (9/13/2019) - A Flint man will spend more than decade in prison after shooting a gun while robbing a man during a botched car sale transaction.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for Eastern Michigan says 21-year-old Rashaaud Garrett was convicted in federal court of interference with commerce by robbery and discharging a firearm during a violent crime.

A federal judge sentenced Garrett to 135 months in a federal penitentiary.

Garrett negotiated the sale of a car to a man using the Facebook Marketplace in October 2018. On Oct. 7, he picked up the buyer and drove him to a residence on Pemberton Drive in Flint.

Garrett told the victim he needed to remove some personal items from the car before turning it over after the sale. However, he approached the victim, who was in the back seat, and brandished a handgun after parking the car.

Garrett demanded the victim turn over cash, marijuana and other property. The victim ran off on foot after a brief scuffle, leaving his cell phone and marijuana behind.

Authorities say Garrett fired two gunshots while the victim ran away, but neither hit him.

Police arrested Garrett several days later after another incident in which he fired a gun.

“Rashaaud Garrett’s sentence should serve as a warning. ATF will use every available resource to protect the public from those preying on innocent citizens,” said Special Agent in Charge James Deir.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider warned the public to be wary of buying and selling items to strangers they meet online. He encouraged people to complete online transactions at police stations or other public venues.

Schneider said his office will continue aggressively pursuing violent felons.

“Guns in the hands of violent convicted felons is a recipe for disaster," Schneider said. "Our office will continue to work with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to target violent criminals who use guns to achieve their selfish ends.”