Essex County, New Jersey Man Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison for Brandishing Weapon During Carjacking
NEWARK, NJ—A Newark, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 168 months in prison for brandishing a shotgun during an armed carjacking in Little Falls, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. Ivan Lee, 26, was found guilty of the brandishing a firearm charge following a one-week trial before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton, who imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court. Lee had been charged by indictment with one count of theft of a motor vehicle by force, violence, and intimidation and one count of use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Lee pleaded guilty to the carjacking count.
According to documents in this case and the evidence at trial:
On Oct. 30, 2011, Lee and Hanza Darby, 25, of Newark, were in the Little Falls area when they spotted a parked 2008 BMW 335 with passengers inside. Darby and Lee—who brandished a shotgun—approached the car and ordered the occupants out of the vehicle at gunpoint. Darby and Lee then took the car and fled the area. Law enforcement officers recovered the car in Newark on Nov. 7, 2011. Darby was standing next to it at the time.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Wigenton sentenced Lee to three years of supervised release. Darby previously pleaded guilty to carjacking and brandishing a weapon in furtherance of a crime of violence. He is awaiting sentencing.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel in Newark; officers of the Little Falls Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Dmuchowski; the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Rick Fuentes; the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes; and the Wayne Police Department, under the direction of Chief James Clarke, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cari Fais and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Kearney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.