A man accused of forcing a Lyft driver to take him 70 miles from Maryland into Washington, D.C., at gunpoint was convicted by a jury Wednesday on federal kidnapping and drug charges.
At 3:20 p.m. Dec. 11, 27-year-old Shane Browne had a Lyft driver take him from Calvert House Apartments in northwest D.C. to a Red Roof Inn in Aberdeen, Maryland, 72 miles away, according to the prosecution. After arriving about two hours later, the driver, having become suspicious of Browne, told him he wouldn't give him a round trip, but about a half-hour later, Browne returned to the car with a suitcase.
The driver again refused a return trip to Browne, who then put a gun to the driver's head, according to the prosecution.
During the return to D.C., the driver was able to send an email to Lyft, saying, "Call the police I'm on (sic) trouble," Lyft records confirmed.
Browne got out of the car upon returning to the apartment building and went inside, at which point the driver contacted 911.
Police monitored the building and arrested Browne as he left an apartment. They searched the apartment the next day and found about 78 pounds of marijuana in suitcases similar to the one the driver saw with Browne, as well as about $35,000 in cash and a cash-counting machine, prosecutors said. The gun wasn't found.
Browne could face about 10-12 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. Sentencing is scheduled for July 24.