Newark Man Charged with Possession of Firearm, Heroin with Intent to Distribute

An Essex County man made his initial appearance today on charges of illegally possessing a handgun and possessing heroin with the intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Officials report that Antoine Hawkins, 31, of Newark, is charged by complaint with one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon and one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On September 16, law enforcement officers conducted a surveillance operation in connection with a shooting on August 18. An officer approached Hawkins, who appeared to be the person of interest in the shooting incident.

During a conversation between the law enforcement officer and Hawkins, the law enforcement officer observed what appeared to be the imprint of a firearm on Hawkins’s jacket. The law enforcement officer frisked Hawkins and seized a 9mm Springfield Armory XDM pistol, which was loaded with 19 rounds of ammunition.

After Hawkins was arrested for possessing the pistol and the ammunition, law enforcement executed a search warrant inside of Hawkins’s residence, which revealed 626 glassine envelopes containing suspected heroin and three 9mm magazines.

The firearm offense carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The narcotics offense carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of $2 million.

This investigation is part of the Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) in Newark. The Newark VCI was formed in August 2017 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the City of Newark’s Department of Public Safety for the sole purpose of combatting violent crime in and around the Newark.

As part of this partnership, federal, state, county, and city agencies collaborate and pool resources to prosecute violent offenders who endanger the safety of the community.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.