HOUSTON, Texas, Sept. 21, 2023 – In a stark reminder of the risks rideshare drivers can face, two Houston residents have been sentenced to federal prison for carjacking an Uber driver with the intent to cause death or serious bodily harm. Frank Lewis Blanco, 28, and Destinee Guerrero, 24, received 120 months and 72 months in prison respectively, along with three years of supervised release.
The incident unfolded on Nov. 13, 2022, when Blanco and Guerrero hailed an Uber around 8:30 a.m. Once inside the car, they altered their destination multiple times, leading the driver on a circuitous route for about half an hour. When the driver stopped at a gas station and asked for police assistance, the couple assaulted him, knocking him unconscious before stealing his car.
The court heard from the victim, who is an immigrant working to support his family. He suffered significant injuries, including lasting damage to his eye and nose. Acting Special Agent in Charge David Martinez of the FBI Houston field office stated that the actions of Blanco and Guerrero not only robbed the driver of his livelihood but also his sense of security.
The convictions serve as a cautionary tale for all rideshare drivers. Being alert and aware of your surroundings, especially when passengers behave erratically, can be crucial for your safety. In situations that arouse suspicion, don’t hesitate to find a safe place to stop and seek immediate assistance. This incident underlines the importance of cooperating fully with law enforcement to ensure that those who target hard-working community members are brought to justice.