Newark Man Pleads Guilty to Multiple Violent Offenses, Including Shootings and Drug Trafficking

Antoine Hawkins, 31, of Essex County, admits to two shootings and illegal possession of firearms and heroin, marking a significant legal development in local crime.

Antoine Hawkins, a 31-year-old resident of Newark, Essex County, has confessed to his involvement in two separate shootings, illegal firearm possession, and intent to distribute heroin, as announced by U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.

NEWARK, N.J. – In a significant legal development, Antoine Hawkins of Newark has entered a guilty plea to multiple charges, including two counts of ammunition possession by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, possession with intent to distribute heroin, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. The plea was made on November 28, 2023, before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden.

The case against Hawkins stems from two shooting incidents in August 2020, where video surveillance captured him firing a gun on a Newark street, injuring a victim who survived. Another shooting, also attributed to Hawkins, was linked through ballistic evidence. Additionally, a police encounter in September 2020 led to the discovery of a 9-millimeter pistol with an extended magazine and heroin in Hawkins's possession.

Hawkins's residence yielded further incriminating evidence, including hundreds of heroin envelopes and additional ammunition. These offenses could result in Hawkins facing up to 10 years in prison for firearm and ammunition charges, a mandatory minimum of five years for the firearm in relation to drug trafficking, and up to 20 years for narcotics offenses.

The sentencing, set for April 2, 2024, could impose severe penalties, including significant prison time and hefty fines.

This case is part of the broader Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) in Newark, a collaborative effort among federal, state, county, and city agencies to address violent crime in the area. The initiative, formed in August 2017, focuses on prosecuting violent offenders and enhancing community safety.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Levin represents the government in this case, highlighting the ongoing efforts to curb violent and drug-related crimes in Newark and surrounding areas. The case has drawn attention to the effective collaboration of various law enforcement agencies, including the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Newark Department of Public Safety, and federal entities like the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations.

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