DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Alabama

For Immediate Release

Friday, March 6, 2020
Jay E. Town
, United States Attorney
Contact: Stacy Crane

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Birmingham Man for Carjacking

BIRMINGHAM – A federal grand jury recently indicted a Birmingham man for an armed carjacking, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson.

A two-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges Tadarrius Lawaun Smith, 21, with the carjacking and carrying and brandishing a firearm during and relation to a violent crime on December 4, 2019.

“Carjacking is one of the most terrifying crimes that we prosecute,” Town said.   “We will not sit idly by and allow criminals to intimidate our citizens with such violence.  We will find you and we will prosecute you.  We are thankful that this victim survived and for the assistance of the citizens who provided information to the Birmingham Police Department.”

“Removing the criminal element that uses a firearm to facilitate violent crimes such as a carjacking is a priority of ATF,” Watson said.

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from the following Project Guardian partners: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Explosives and Firearms. For more information about Project Guardian, please see:    

The maximum penalty for carjacking is 10 years in prison.  The maximum penalty for brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a violent crime carries a mandatory seven years in prison per count, to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed for the crime. 

The ATF investigated the case, along with the Birmingham Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Baty is prosecuting the case.

An indictment contains only charges.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Nashville Field Division