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Press Release

Essex County Man Charged with Illegally Possessing Firearm in Connection with June 2021 Shooting

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man with a previous felony conviction made his initial appearance today on a criminal complaint charging him with two counts of illegally possessing a firearm and ammunition, the first count related to a June 2021 shooting in Newark, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Kevin Hills, 21, of Newark, was charged by complaint on Feb. 24, 2022, appeared today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge André M. Espinosa, and was detained.

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

On June 19, 2021, a shooting took place in Newark. Responding officers of the Newark Police Department (NPD) found an abandoned Jimenez Model JA-Nine 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol in a vacant lot near the scene and multiple spent shell casings on the sidewalk. NPD detectives later recovered video from the vicinity of the shooting recorded during the morning of the shooting. One video showed an individual matching Hills’ appearance firing a handgun in the same area where the shell casings and handgun were found.

On July 20, 2021, an NPD detective who had been assigned to investigate the shooting saw and stopped Hills. The detective then recovered a Ruger 9-millimeter caliber handgun loaded with 11 rounds of ammunition from Hill’s waistband.

Hills had previously been convicted in January 2019 in the New Jersey Superior Court of aggravated assault on a corrections officer, for which he was sentenced to three years in prison.

Each count of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited officers of the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara, and members of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Trombly of the Cybercrime Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated March 7, 2022

Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 22-080