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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 28, 2021

Burlington County Man Sentenced to 28 Months in Prison for Interfering with Law Enforcement Officers during Civil Disorder

TRENTON, N.J. – A Burlington County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 28 months in prison for attempting to interfere with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder when he attempted to set fire to a police vehicle during a civil disorder in the City of Trenton, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Killian F. Melecio, 20, of Columbus, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti to an information charging him with one count of attempting to obstruct, impede, or interfere with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder affecting commerce.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On May 31, 2020, large-scale protests were held throughout the United States, including in Trenton, in response to the death of George Floyd. Although the May 31st protest in Trenton was peaceful earlier in the day, violence erupted later. A group of individuals proceeded down East State Street in downtown Trenton and began to smash store fronts, loot stores, and attack multiple marked Trenton Police Department vehicles parked on the 100 Block of East State Street.

A City of Trenton street camera and other video footage taken by an individual present on the street captured Kadeem Dockery light an explosive device and throw it through the open front driver’s side window of a Trenton Police Department vehicle. Dockery then removed his shirt and handed it to Melecio, who then attempted to stuff the shirt in the gas tank of the police vehicle and ignite it. Melecio was then assisted by Justin Spry in attempting to set fire to the police vehicle. Law enforcement officers on scene arrested Spry, but Melecio and Dockery fled. Law enforcement later identified Melecio and Dockery through analysis of street camera and other video footage. They were arrested on Aug. 5, 2020.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Martinotti sentenced Melecio to three years of supervised release. Spry and Dockery have previously pleaded guilty. Spry is scheduled to sentenced on Aug. 3, 2021, and Docker is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 21, 2021.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI and task force officers of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Newark, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr., with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. She also thanked officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Acting Police Director James Slack; troopers of the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; and officers of the New Jersey Department of Corrections, under the direction of Commissioner Marcus O. Hicks, for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander E. Ramey and Michelle S. Gasparian of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.

The charges and allegations remaining against Kadeem Dockery and Justin Spry are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
21-289
Updated June 28, 2021