NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man today admitted his role in an attempted carjacking in Newark, during which a firearm was discharged, and possessing heroin and cocaine base with intent to distribute, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Antwan Malone, 34, of Newark, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Julien X. Neals to one count of attempted carjacking, one count of using and carrying a firearm, which was brandished, during and in relation to the attempted carjacking; and one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine base.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Feb. 22, 2021, law enforcement officers responded to the area of the I-78 West entrance ramp and Irvine Turner Boulevard in Newark on a report of an attempted carjacking with a weapon. They learned that Malone had pulled up beside a BMW M5 SUV that was stopped at a stop light and blocked the BMW’s ability to enter I-78. Malone approached the vehicle brandishing a handgun, and then pointed the gun at the driver’s face while repeatedly telling the driver to either exit the vehicle or Malone would shoot them. The driver was able to escape by ramming the BMW into Malone’s vehicle and entering the I-78 entrance ramp. Malone fired two shots at the BMW.
Malone also admitted today that on. Jan. 12, 2021, he possessed cocaine base and heroin with intent to distribute.
The count of attempted carjacking carries a maximum potential sentence of 15 years in prison. The count of discharging of a firearm during a crime of violence is punishable by a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison, which must run consecutively to any term of imprisonment imposed on any other charges. The count of possessing heroin and cocaine base with intent to distribute carries a statutory maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a maximum fine of $1 million, twice the gross profits or other proceeds to the defendant, whichever is greater. Sentencing is scheduled for May 23, 2022.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II; special agents of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson in Newark; and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
This case is part of the Violent Crime Initiative (VCI), which was formed in August 2017 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the City of Newark’s Department of Public Safety for the purpose of combatting violent crime in and around Newark. As part of this partnership, federal, state, county, and city agencies collaborate and pool resources to prosecute violent offenders who endanger the safety of the community. The VCI is composed of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the ATF, the DEA, the U.S. Marshals, the Newark Department of Public Safety, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, N.J. State Parole, Union County Jail, N.J. State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center/Real Time Crime Center, N.J. Department of Corrections, the East Orange Police Department, and the Irvington Police Department.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys George L. Brandley of the Health Care Fraud Unit and DeNae M. Thomas of the Violent Crimes Unit in Newark.