A federal judge sentenced a 25-year-old woman to eight years in prison Tuesday for her involvement in a string of Twin Cities carjackings.
Judge Patrick Schiltz also ordered Krisanne Marie Benjamin of Minneapolis to pay about $13,000 in restitution. Once the prison time is served, Benjamin will have two years of supervised release.
In September, Benjamin pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting carjacking of a 2017 Audi A4 and admitted to two additional carjackings. Two other counts — aiding and abetting carjacking of a 2008 Lexus and of a 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe — were dismissed.
"In partnership with local and federal law enforcement, we will not hesitate to prosecute individuals who perpetrate this type of violence in our communities," said Acting U.S. Attorney Charles Kovats in a statement. "Today's sentence highlights the seriousness of these crimes and the significant penalties facing those who commit them."
Multiple agencies investigated Benjamin's case, including the FBI, the Minnesota State Patrol, and Minneapolis, St. Paul and suburban police.
According to prosecutors:
Benjamin and another 25-year-old, Jeremiah Lee Ironrope, drove an SUV to a Richfield parking lot on August 28, 2020, and pulled up near a 2017 Audi. Ironrope, a co-defendant in the case, approached the Audi driver with a pointed Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun and demanded the car keys.
He drove the Audi away, with Benjamin trailing behind in the SUV. Last fall, Ironrope pleaded guilty to one count of carjacking and one count of using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. He's scheduled to be sentenced in April.
The morning after the Audi carjacking, the Minnesota State Patrol used GPS data to track it and found Ironrope driving it with Benjamin as a passenger. When officers attempted to stop the car, a high-speed chase ensued. Benjamin eventually got out and ran.
Officers later found the Audi unoccupied and running in Minneapolis. It was partially spray painted black. Inside, it contained a stolen wallet, bottles of spray paint, a hat, gloves, receipts and a used 12-gauge shotgun shell.