CHICAGO — A man who carjacked a Lyft driver in downtown Chicago after ordering a ride using the name “Moneybagg Uzi” has been sentenced to 6½ years in prison by a federal judge.
Noah Ransom, 19, pleaded guilty to federal carjacking and firearms charges earlier this year. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly handed down the sentence today.
Around 4 a.m. on April 9, 2022, “Moneybagg Uzi” ordered a ride from the Embassy Suites hotel, 600 North State, to 201 South State in the Loop. The 37-year-old Lyft driver told police that when he arrived to pick up “Moneybagg Uzi,” five men, including Ransom, got into his Lexus RX350, according to federal prosecutors.
Ransom allegedly pulled out a gun as they headed into the Loop and told the driver, “Don’t try any funny business. Stop, put your seat back, and get out of the car.”
The driver pulled over in front of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, 12 South Michigan, and got out. Ransom slid behind the wheel and drove away with the other four.
Illinois State Police troopers spotted the stolen SUV on the Dan Ryan Expressway and engaged in a lengthy pursuit that reached speeds over 120 MPH until they forced it to stop around 6:10 a.m. near Jackson and Aberdeen in the West Loop.
ISP, CPD, and UIC police officers took the car’s occupants into custody. Ransom allegedly drove the vehicle, and police found a loaded handgun with an extended magazine lying outside the driver’s door.
Ransom was initially charged in state court, but the feds picked up the case three months later.
The case file in federal court includes a letter Ransom submitted to the judge after pleading guilty:
Dear Judge Kennelly,
I sorry I have failed you, my mother, my family, and myself. The crime I have set to the community was unacceptable and uncaused for, I never meant to hurt my community. I always wanted to serve my community in the army but I see that can never happen now and I have to find a new dream and goal. I dream about that night every day and wake up and never go back to sleep asking myself crying why would I do that what make me do that? I guess I was high and wanted to be like the people around me. But I know that’s no excuse. I barely eat every day and I am sad and depress every day thinking about it. I was never supposed to do such a thing like that. I not asking for a lower sentence or to be set free I just asking you have faith in me and believe in me that I want to come back and that I have changed because now I have faith in myself and I know that I have changed and will make a living in my life for good not for bad. God have showed me the way since I been here I talk to him every day and he always talks back and tell me everything will be ok. So thank you for your time Judge Kennelly and hope people see just because a person make 1, 2 or even 3 mistakes don’t mean that they will be like the rest of their lives. I will never do anything like this again.
Several others wrote letters supporting Ransom, including his mother, three aunts, and Lawrence Perkins, the dean of students at the Academy of Scholastic Achievement.
When Ransom was initially charged in state court, prosecutors said he was also responsible for carjacking a driver in the 1400 block of North Astor, just steps from Gov. JB Pritzker’s mansion.
Officials did not provide details of that hijacking during Ransom’s bond court appearance, but CWB Chicago reported that the victim told police two men armed with a handgun took his white Toyota Highlander on the governor’s block.
Chicago police did not release the exact address of the Astor Street hijacking. But GPS coordinates associated with the crime in the city’s database come back to the home of Gov. JB Pritzker.
The state dropped all charges related to both carjackings when federal prosecutors took over the case.