NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man who is a previously convicted felon admitted today to possessing a firearm and ammunition in connection with an incident in which he shot another individual, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Andre Shoulars, 27, of Newark, pleaded guilty by teleconference before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas to an indictment charging him with one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Nov. 4, 2018, at approximately 2:30 p.m., the victim was in the area of 340 Hawthorne Avenue in Newark, speaking with another individual. Shoulars approached the victim, pulled out a semiautomatic handgun, and began firing several shots at the victim. Although the victim was able to run away as Shoulars fired the handgun, the victim was hit in the foot with one .40 caliber bullet fired by Shoulars. The victim was treated at a hospital for the bullet wound.
Newark police officers responded to the scene of the shooting and recovered five .40 caliber shell casings from the street. Officers also recovered videotapes from several surveillance cameras which were stationed in the area of the shooting. These videotapes showed Shoulars walking around in the area just before the shooting, and also showed Shoulars shooting at the victim and then running away.
The charge to which Shoulars pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 21, 2020.
This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited the U.S. Marshals Service, under the direction of U.S. Marshal Juan Mattos Jr., and the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan W. Romankow of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Violent Crimes Unit in Newark.