Two Essex County, N.J., Men Charged With Carjacking
NEWARK, N.J. – One of two Essex County, N.J., men arrested in connection with a gunpoint carjacking in March 2012 is expected to make his initial appearances in court today, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Sharod Culp, 19, and Anthony Jefferson, 19, both of Newark, are charged by Complaint with one count of theft of a motor vehicle by force, violence, and intimidation, and one count of use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Culp is scheduled to make his initial court appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz. Jefferson was arrested in Florida and will make his initial court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas B. McCoun 3rd in Tampa federal court.
According to the Complaint:
During the morning of March 11, 2012, Culp and Jefferson approached two individuals who were sitting in a parked 2009 Hyundai Sonata in the area of Patterson Street in Newark. Culp pointed a firearm at the victims, and both Culp and Jefferson ordered the victims to get out of the car. After robbing, taunting and threatening the victims, Culp and Jefferson fled the area in the carjacked vehicle.
The carjacking count is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison. The charge of use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years in prison, which must run consecutively to any other prison term. Each of the two counts also carries a maximum fine of $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez in Newark; the Newark Police Department, under the leadership of Director Samuel A. DeMaio and Chief Sheilah A. Coley; and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray; as well as criminal investigators from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa M. Colone of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Donald McCauley Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark