Woodbridge man robbed 4, shot victim in leg, gets 6 years

NEWARK, N.J. – A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 75 months in prison for illegally possessing a loaded 9mm HiPoint pistol, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Rashawn S. Williams of Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti to an information charging him with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Judge Martinotti imposed the sentence by videoconference today.

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

On Feb. 6, 2019, in an Irvington, New Jersey parking lot, Williams knowingly possessed a 9mm HiPoint pistol loaded with at least one round of 9mm ammunition. He and a conspirator robbed four individuals at gunpoint. Williams fired a shot, striking one of the victims in the leg.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Martinotti sentenced Williams to three years of supervised release.

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.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents and task force officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson; and the Irvington Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Tracy Bowers, with the investigation leading to today’s sentence. She also thanked the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II, for its assistance with the case.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francesca Liquori of the Organized Crime and Gangs Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Newark.