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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Tennessee
Kevin G. Ritz, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Friday, January 13, 2023

Four Memphis Carjackers Who Shot Law Enforcement Officers Sentenced

Memphis, TN – Julius Armstrong, 20, Adairius Armstrong, 20, Barium Martin, 20, and Malik McCoy, 19, have received significant federal prison sentences after being convicted of carjacking, assaulting a federal officer, and using a weapon during those crimes. United States Attorney Kevin G. Ritz announced the sentences today.

According to the information presented in court, in early May 2021, Julius Armstrong, Adairius Armstrong, Barium Martin, and Malik McCoy committed a string of violent armed carjackings in the city of Memphis. On May 7, 2021, the individuals were spotted on a traffic camera crashing out in one of the stolen vehicles. They were confronted by two law enforcement officers: a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and a sergeant with the Memphis Police Department. The individuals, who were armed with a handgun and an assault rifle, fired on the vehicle the officers were in, injuring both officers.

At the time these crimes were committed, Julius Armstrong was 18 years old; Adairius Armstrong and Barium Martin were 19 years old; and Malik McCoy was 17 years old. McCoy was originally charged as a juvenile before being transferred to adult status in federal court.

United States Attorney Ritz stated: “These young men engaged in violent criminal acts, including shooting at and injuring law enforcement officers. Their serious crimes deserved serious sentences. Protecting Americans from gun violence is one of our top priorities, and our efforts in this area will remain robust and unrelenting.”

Julius Armstrong pled guilty to carjacking, brandishing a firearm during a carjacking, assault on a federal officer, and discharging a firearm during the assault. He was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Thomas L. Parker on November 10, 2022, to 264 months imprisonment.

Adairius Armstrong pled guilty to carjacking and brandishing a firearm during a carjacking. He was sentenced by Judge Parker on November 21, 2022, to 216 months imprisonment.

Barium Martin pled guilty to carjacking, brandishing a firearm during a carjacking, and assault on a federal officer. He was sentenced by Judge Parker on November 18, 2022, to 156 months imprisonment.

Malik McCoy pled guilty to carjacking, brandishing a firearm during a carjacking, and assault on a federal officer. He was sentenced by Judge Parker on January 11, 2023, to 156 months imprisonment.

“Protecting the public from violent criminals who illegally possess firearms is at the core of the mission of the men and women of ATF. In this instance, an act of violence was perpetrated upon law enforcement including an ATF agent. Today’s actions bring that matter to a close and the court’s sentencing reaffirms the commitment to the public of holding violent members of our society accountable,” said Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson of the ATF-Nashville Field Office.

“The FBI and our Federal and State partners will continue to combine our efforts and resources to target those who commit violent crimes in our community,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Bryan McCloskey of the Memphis Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “The law enforcement response and investigation, collaboration by law enforcement and prosecutors, and the sentences imposed serve notice to all that crimes of violence, especially those that threaten the lives of law enforcement, will be met with swift and exacting justice.”

This case was investigated by the ATF and the FBI.

United States Attorney Kevin Ritz thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth Rogers, Dean DeCandia, and Greg Wagner, who prosecuted the case, as well as the law enforcement officers who conducted the investigation.

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