An Essex County man was indicted today on charges stemming from illegally possessing ammunition in connection with two shootings, illegally possessing a handgun and possessing heroin with the intent to distribute, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Federal officials said Mr. Antoine Hawkins, 31, of Newark, is charged with two counts of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin, and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He will be arraigned on a date to be determined.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Aug. 18, 2020, video surveillance footage showed Hawkins as he fired a gun on a Newark street, striking a victim, who survived.
Hawkins was also identified as the perpetrator of another shooting in Newark on Aug. 13, 2020, and cartridge casings from the locations of both shootings are a ballistics match.
On Sept. 16, 2020, law enforcement officers conducted a surveillance operation in connection with the Aug. 18, 2020, shooting.
During the surveillance operation, a law enforcement officer approached Hawkins and observed what appeared to be the imprint of a firearm on Hawkins’s jacket. The law enforcement officer frisked Hawkins and located 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 and found 626 glassine envelopes containing suspected heroin and three 9mm magazines.
The firearm and ammunition offenses each carry maximum potential penalties of 10 years in prison and fines of $250,000.
The count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime carries a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, which must run consecutively to any other sentence Hawkins receives, and a maximum potential penalty of life in prison.
The narcotics offense carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison, and a fine of $2 million.