Federal Grand Jury Indicts Two Men for Carjacking and Weapons Violations | USAO-EDLA

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced on Friday, September 4, 2020 that RICHARD JONES, age 22, and KAHLIQ WILLIAMS, age 20, residents of New Orleans, LA, are charged in a six-count indictment.  Counts 1 and 3 of the indictment charges JONES and WILLIAMS for their alleged participation in the carjacking of a man on Eastern Street in New Orleans, LA on April 16, 2020, and the burglary of C&S Gun Parlor in Covington, LA on April 17, 2020.  In Count 4, WILLIAMS is charged with an additional carjacking, which took place on May 19, 2020, in the 7600 block of Trapier Avenue in New Orleans, LA.  Count 6 charges JONES with being a felon in possession of a firearm on May 22, 2020, the date of his arrest.  Finally, in Counts 2 and 5, both JONES and WILLIAMS are charged with using a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence. 

In Counts 1 and 4 of the indictment, JONES and WILLIAMS are charged with carjacking, in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 2119.  If convicted, both face a maximum sentence of 15 years of imprisonment, a fine up to $250,000.00, a period of 3 years supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment of $100.00.  In Counts 2 and 5, JONES and WILLIAMS are charged with using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence in violation of Title 18, United States Section, 924(c)(1).  If convicted, both face a mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years to life imprisonment, to be run consecutive to any other sentence imposed, a fine up to $250,000.00, a period of 5 years supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment of $100.00.  In Count 3, JONES and WILLIAMS are charged with burglary of a federal firearm licensee in violation of Title 18 United States Code Section 922(u).  If convicted, both face a maximum sentence of 10 years, up to a $250,000 fine, up to 3 years supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment of $100.00.  Finally, in Count 6, JONES is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of Title 18 United States Code Section 922(g)(1) and 18 United States Code Section 924(a)(2). If convicted, JONES faces a maximum sentence of 10 years of imprisonment, a fine up to $250,000, a period of 3 years supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment of $100.00. 

U. S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safe for everyone.  Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This case is also 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.  The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from the following Project Guardian partners: the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the New Orleans Police Department, and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. 

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the New Orleans Police Department, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Inga Petrovich of the Violent Crime/Strike Force Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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