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Federal grand jury indicts Gadsden man on multiple carjackings charges

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A federal grand jury indicted a Gadsden man on Friday on charges related to two Nov. 25, 2018, carjackings. The indictments were announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr.

Luis Sebastian Tello, 23, is charged in a five-count indictment with stealing a vehicle at gunpoint from a pizza delivery driver in Gadsden and then carjacking a second vehicle from two out-of-state travelers at a gas station in Trussville.

The Springville Police Department stopped Tello for speeding on Interstate 59. Tello fled into the woods on foot. Officers from multiple agencies engaged in a manhunt that resulted in his capture later that evening. Tello is charged with two counts of carjacking, two counts of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

“We commend the FBI, St. Clair Correctional Facility’s tracking dog team, St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, and the police departments of Gadsden, Trussville, Springville, and Odenville for their investigation and quick apprehension of this individual,” Town said.

The maximum penalty for carjacking is 15 years in prison. The penalty for possession of a firearm during a crime of violence is not less than 7 years in prison. The maximum penalty for being a felon in possession of a firearm is 10 years in prison. Each of the charges carries a maximum fine of $250,000.

The FBI, the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Gadsden Police Department, Trussville Police Department, Springville Police Department and Odenville Police Department all cooperated on the investigation and apprehension of Mr. Tello.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Baty is prosecuting the case.

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An indictment contains only charges. Tello will have the opportunity to present a legal defense when his case is brought to trial. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a jury of his peers.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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