On May 15th of this year, fugitive Michael Buhrman was sentenced in absentia of aggravated vehicular hijacking and vehicular hijacking for the 2012 armed hijacking of a woman’s car in a parking lot in Woodridge, Illinois. It only took the jury 45 minutes of deliberations before they found Buhrman guilty of the felony and the judge mandated a 40 year sentence. As we reported in our on-going coverage of this event, Woodridge Police Detective Jody Porras testified during the trial that Buhrman had attempted to recruit at least one of his fellow senior reactor operators to join him on a crime spree including a string of bank robberies and armored car heists.
Landon Brittain was one of Buhrman’s fellow senior reactor operators at the Dresden nuclear power plant in Illinois. His family reported losing contact with him in October of 2012, around a month after Buhrman had removed his monitoring device and ran from his home before police could arrive and apprehend him.
Landon’s half-sister reported him missing to the Joliet Police Department on November 5th, of 2012. In subsequent reports she is quoted as saying, “Landon is missing, but it seems it is by choice. He did not notify his friends or his family that he was leaving. He made great efforts to ensure that he could not be found. He took very little from his home, but we are sure he had a large amount of money. Events leading up to his disappearance suggest a vast change in the Landon we all know and love. Sometimes we face things in our life that are difficult and everyone reacts differently to these situations.”
Some of those “great efforts” made by Landon included efforts made by the defendant to prevent family or law enforcement officers from retrieving any information of his whereabouts from his laptops, computers, credit cards and known cellular phones. By June of 2013, Landon’s family learned that Brittain had been arrested by Venezuelan intelligence and that he had been living in Caracas Venezuela, where he was reported to frequent a local gym. On July 17th, 2013, Landon Brittain was booked into the DuPage County Jail on three charges counts, Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking, Vehicular Hijacking, and Obstruction of Justice – Evidence and False Information, with a bond of $1 million, similar charges to those which landed Buhrman a 40 year sentence.
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin told the press that a grand jury had recently indicted Brittain, but the indictment was impounded as officials ascertained his location. Berlin confirmed that Brittain was apprehended in Venezuela and flown to New York in the custody of U.S. Marshalls. Berlin admitted that Brittain aided in the carjacking, though he would not discuss details of Brittain’s role. The State’s Attorney said that the defendant had “implicated himself” and as the investigation continued other evidence pointed to his involvement.
Source: Dupage County Sheriffs Office H/T – Anonymous Tip