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Man sentenced to more than 14 years for kidnapping Lyft driver at gunpoint for ride to DC

WASHINGTON — A California man has been sentenced 14 years and eight months in prison after he was found guilty in April of federal charges for kidnapping a Lyft driver in Maryland.

Shane Browne, 28, also was found guilty of narcotics charges stemming from the Dec. 11 incident in which he forced his Lyft driver at gunpoint to take him more than 70 miles on a possible drug-buying mission from Maryland to an apartment building in D.C., according to officials.

Browne was found guilty by a jury of in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for charges of kidnapping and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Following his prison term, Browne will be placed on five years of supervised release. The Court also ordered a civil forfeiture in the amount of $70,200 in connection with the marijuana that was seized in the case, as well as the forfeiture of approximately $35,000 in cash that was seized at an apartment where Browne had been staying in D.C., according to a press release.

On Dec. 11, the driver took Browne to Aberdeen, but growing suspicious, parted ways with him at a McDonald’s there. The driver refused to give Browne a trip back to D.C. from Aberdeen, according to court documents from prosecutors.

Browne returned about 30 minutes later with a suitcase and eventually got back into the same Lyft car without the driver’s permission. When the driver continued to refuse to drive Browne back to D.C., Browne took out a gun, held it to the driver’s head and demanded the ride, court documents state.

“The Lyft driver indicated that [Browne] continued to point the handgun at him and intermittently touched his head with the gun throughout most of the rest of the ride, including after the vehicle crossed state lines and entered D.C.,” according to the court documents.

At some point during the drive back to D.C., the driver emailed Lyft saying that he was in trouble.

The driver dropped Browne off at the D.C. apartments, and then used OnStar to contact 911. D.C. police arrived and detained Browne when he left the unit.

Browne has been in custody since his arrest on Dec. 11, 2017.


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