By: Richard L. Smith
Antoine Hawkins, a 31-year-old Newark resident, has admitted to his involvement in two separate shooting incidents and several drug-related offenses, as announced by U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.
Hawkins entered his guilty plea on November 28, 2023, facing a litany of charges, including possession of ammunition and a firearm by a convicted felon, possession with intent to distribute heroin, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
The case, presided over by U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden, unfolded with revealing details.
On August 18, 2020, Hawkins was captured on video surveillance firing a gun on a Newark street, injuring a victim who survived.
Additionally, Hawkins was linked to another shooting in Newark on August 13, 2020, with cartridge casings from both incidents matching ballistically.
A law enforcement encounter on September 16, 2020, led to the discovery of a 9-millimeter pistol in Hawkins's jacket, along with an extended magazine holding 19 rounds.Further investigation, including a search warrant executed at his residence, unearthed 626 glassine envelopes containing heroin and additional ammunition.
Hawkins now faces severe legal repercussions. The firearm and ammunition offenses could result in up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 fines each.
The drug trafficking-related firearm possession charge carries a mandatory minimum of five years, which must be served consecutively to any other sentence and could extend to life imprisonment.
The narcotics offense alone could lead to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Hawkins's sentencing is scheduled for April 2, 2024.