CHICAGO - Federal prosecutors have leveled federal charges on a 19-year-old man accused in May of carjacking someone at gunpoint in West Town and then striking a cyclist.
The charges were part of Operation Legend, a federal initiative aimed at prosecuting violent crime nationwide.
Elias Figueroa and a 16-year-old boy flashed guns May 27 when they carjacked a man washing his car in the 1200 block of North Cleaver Street, Chicago police said at the time.
Figueroa was driving the Tahoe when it hit the cyclist in the 1300 block of West Hubbard Street, throwing the cyclist into the air before landing on another vehicle, police said. The cyclist was hospitalized in fair condition.
Figueroa and the teen were arrested after a foot chase, police said. Two guns were recovered.
At the time, Figueroa was charged by Cook County prosecutors with aggravated vehicular hijacking.
But Monday’s announcement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago upgrades those charges to federal counts of carjacking and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.
Figueroa was taken into federal custody Friday and pleaded not guilty later that day.
The carjacking charge is punishable by up to 25 years in prison, while the gun charge carries a minimum seven-year sentence.