DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, November 21, 2019
Richard W. Moore
, United States Attorney
Contact: Jimmy Davis

Mobile County Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Discharging a Firearm in Attempted Carjacking

United States Attorney Richard W. Moore of the Southern District of Alabama announced that Johnothan L. Lavender, 31, of Mobile, Alabama, was sentenced in federal court for discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Lavender pleaded guilty to the charge in August of 2019.

According to court documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, Lavender admitted that on December 26, 2017, he was approached by the victim, who wanted to buy a quantity of marijuana while at a gas station on Cottage Hill Road in Mobile. Lavender agreed to sell the victim marijuana and told the victim to follow him. Lavender got into a vehicle being driven by his co-defendant, Ryan D. Tandy-Ross, 23, of Prichard. The victim followed behind the defendants in his vehicle. Once on Jones Road, Tandy-Ross stopped the vehicle and Lavender stepped out. Lavender told the victim that the marijuana was hidden in the bushes. Lavender and Tandy-Ross then attempted to carjack the victim. In the process, the victim was shot. During the attempted carjacking, Lavender presented a Ruger .40 caliber pistol. The victim, who sped away from the assailants, sustained a gunshot wound that was painful but was not life-threatening.

United States District Court Judge Terry F. Moorer sentenced Lavender to a term of 180 months’ imprisonment. Lavender will serve a term of 5 years on supervised release upon the completion of his sentence, during which time he will undergo substance abuse treatment. Lavender was not ordered to pay a fine, but was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment. For his role in the offense, Tandy-Ross previously had pleaded guilty to a carjacking charge. On October 17, 2019, Judge Moorer sentenced Tandy-Ross to 70 months’ incarceration—a downward departure based on Tandy-Ross’s substantial assistance in the United States’ investigation and prosecution of the matter.

The case was investigated by the Mobile Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted in the United States Attorney’s Office by Assistant United States Attorney Gina S. Vann.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama at


Nashville Field Division