Essex County Man Admits Role in Armed Carjacking
NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man today admitted his role in a carjacking in which a firearm was brandished, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Jared Walker, 24, of Newark, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi to a three-count indictment charging him with carjacking, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Walker remains detained pending sentencing.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Jan. 6, 2020, the driver of a 2008 Ford E-350 van was carjacked at gunpoint in Newark. Walker approached the van, which was parked in Newark, and drove it away while the victim was still inside. Walker brandished a firearm during the carjacking. The victim ultimately escaped from the vehicle, and Walker was apprehended a short time later. When law enforcement recovered the gun, officers discovered that it was loaded with 13 rounds of ammunition. In 2015, Walker was convicted of unlawful possession of a handgun in New Jersey Superior Court – a felony offense – and is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms and ammunition.
The carjacking charge carries a maximum potential sentence of 15 years in prison. The charge of possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense carries a maximum potential sentence of 10 years in prison. The brandishing of a firearm during a crime of violence charge carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of seven years, and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, which must run consecutively to any term of imprisonment imposed on the other charges. Each of the charged offenses also carries a maximum potential fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 14, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch in Newark, and officers of the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Samantha C. Fasanello of the Violent Crimes Unit.