FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, N.J., man appeared in Newark federal court today for allegedly brandished a handgun and punching a man in the face before carjacking his vehicle, United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Amonra Jackson, 29, of Newark, is charged by Complaint with one count of theft of a motor vehicle by force, violence, and intimidation, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Jackson appeared this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Claire C. Cecchi and was detained.
According to the criminal Complaint filed last month:
On December 17, 2010, a man later identified as Jackson approached a man in a light blue Acura MDX, and leaned into the victim’s window, showing him a silver revolver. After punching the victim in the face and taking his keys, Jackson drove away in the vehicle.
A Newark police detective spotted Jackson on December 19, 2010, sitting in a white Honda Accord which had also been taken on December 17 in a gunpoint robbery. When the detective arrested the defendant after a short foot chase, he was found to be in the possession of a .22 caliber silver Derringer revolver, as well as four sets of keys to other cars. The defendant has been in state custody since his December arrest.
The charge of carjacking carries a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison; 25 years in prison if serious bodily injury results; and life in prison or the federal death penalty if death results, as well as a $250,000 fine. The felon in possession charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
The arrest and charges are part of a cooperative effort between federal, state and local law enforcement to address the recent spike in carjackings in Essex County.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Violent Crimes/Fugitive Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark; the Newark Police Department, under the leadership of Director Gary F. McCarthy; and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara R. Llanes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty. Anyone who has information which may be relevant to this case is encouraged to contact the Newark Division of the FBI at 973-792-3000.
Defense counsel: Candace Hom, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark