Public Notices and Press Releases

Essex County Felon Sentenced to 12 Years for Multiple Crimes

Antoine Hawkins, 31, receives 144-month sentence for involvement in two shootings, illegal firearm possession, and heroin distribution.

NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County man was sentenced today to 144 months in prison for his involvement in two shootings, illegal possession of a handgun, and possession of heroin with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Antoine Hawkins, 31, of Newark, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden to an indictment charging him with multiple offenses, including two counts of possession of ammunition 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 a drug trafficking crime. Judge Hayden imposed the sentence in Newark federal court.

On Aug. 18, 2020, video surveillance captured Hawkins firing a gun on a Newark street, hitting a victim who survived. Hawkins was also identified as the perpetrator of another Newark shooting on Aug. 13, 2020, with ballistic evidence linking him to both incidents.

On Sept. 16, 2020, law enforcement officers observed what appeared to be a firearm in Hawkins’s jacket. A search revealed a 9-millimeter pistol loaded with an extended magazine containing 19 rounds of ammunition. A subsequent search of Hawkins’s residence uncovered 626 glassine envelopes of heroin and three 9-millimeter magazines.

In addition to the prison term, Hawkins was sentenced to three years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, led by Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II; the Newark Department of Public Safety, directed by Fritz G. Fragé; the Drug Enforcement Administration, under Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Ortiz; and Homeland Security Investigations Newark, under Acting Special Agent in Charge William S. Walker, for their roles in the investigation.

This case was part of the Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) in Newark, 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 to combat violent crime. The VCI includes collaboration among federal, state, county, and city agencies to prosecute violent offenders and enhance community safety.

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Levin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office National Security Unit in Newark.

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified