Sampson man linked to I-95 carjackings

Staff reports
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A Roseboro-area man has been charged with a road rage incident on Interstate 95 that played out like a scene from Grand Theft Auto, with the man attempting to carjack three vehicles, wrecking one and leading authorities on a multi-county chase.

Raymond Lee Bryant Jr., 44, whose exact address in the Roseboro area was not immediately known, has been charged in a federal criminal complaint with carjacking and carrying and brandishing a firearm “during and in relation to the carjacking.” A release was issued by U.S. Attorney Robert J. Higdon Jr. outlining the incident.

According to the affidavit attached to the criminal complaint, Bryant is alleged to have committed multiple carjackings on Interstate 95 in Dunn on Thursday.

He is alleged to have approached a semi-truck and trailer, forced the driver and passenger out of the truck at gunpoint after firing a round and attempted to drive the truck away. As Bryant was backing up the truck, it jack-knifed, which blocked the northbound lanes of I-95. Bryant exited the truck, attempted to carjack another semi-truck and trailer, however the driver of that truck exited the vehicle as he saw Bryant approach.

Bryant then approached a third vehicle and had a confrontation with the two occupants, who fled the vehicle. Bryant sped from Harnett County in the truck, heading north on Interstate 95. The chase ultimately ended about 50 miles later in Nash County, where he was taken into custody.

According to reports, the incident began after 4 p.m. when Bryant was driving a Ford Ranger in the shoulder of the road on I-95. He lost control and traveled across the northbound lanes of I-95, striking another car. At that point, Bryant reportedly got out of his truck and fired a shotgun blast into the driver-side window of a tractor-trailer that had stopped because of the wreck. That is when the alleged carjackings occurred.

Bryant was initially charged with driving while impaired, felony speed to elude, resisting a public official, failure to heed to blue lights/siren, improper passing, possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Officials also seized 11 ounces of marijuana from Bryant’s Ford Ranger. Drug charges were not immediately known.

“The charge and allegations contained in the criminal complaint are merely accusations,” the release from Higdon stated, referencing the carjacking and firearm offenses. “The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.”

This case is part of the Take Back North Carolina Initiative, which was newly implemented by United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking and crimes against law enforcement. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office investigated this case.

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Staff reports