News and Press Releases


TUESDAY - June 21, 2011


RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today ERNEST AUGUSTUS HAWKINS, 33, of Henderson, North Carolina, was sentenced by United States District Judge James C. Dever III, for his role in planning a robbery committed on May 20, 2008. HAWKINS was sentenced to 240 months’ imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on September 15, 2010, charging HAWKINS with conspiring to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951. HAWKINS pleaded guilty to the charge on December 14, 2010.

The investigation revealed that on May 20, 2008, HAWKINS, the leader of a gang in Henderson, North Carolina, planned and organized the robbery of a residence located at Alexander Avenue in Henderson, North Carolina. This residence was well known as a location that sold crack cocaine. HAWKINS met with four other individuals, provided them the location, gave instructions, and provided zip ties and gloves. Just prior to the robbery, HAWKINS had a family member conduct surveillance on the residence to establish how many people were located inside. The four robbers left HAWKINS’ residence to conduct the robbery, broke into the residence, shot a victim, and restrained others in the residence while they searched for cocaine and money. Members of the Henderson Police Department arrived, one robber escaped and the others were arrested. The robbers were to meet back at HAWKINS’ residence after the robbery to split any proceeds.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Henderson Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Rudy E. Renfer represented the government.


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