October 26, 2023
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Mercer County, New Jersey, man was convicted of carjacking, brandishing a firearm during the carjacking, two attempted carjackings resulting in serious bodily injury, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.
Cedrick Hodges, 40, of Trenton, New Jersey, was convicted on Oct. 24, 2023, of all five counts of a second superseding indictment following a seven-day trial before U.S. District Judge Zahid N. Quraishi in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On the evening of Dec. 16, 2017, Hodges entered the rear passenger seat of a Toyota Camry and pointed a loaded sawed-off shotgun at the driver, demanding that she operate the vehicle while Hodges entered the rear seat. The driver exited the vehicle and ran, in response to which Hodges discharged the shotgun towards her as she fled.
Moments later, Hodges approached a Honda Accord occupied by a driver and one passenger. Hodges pointed the shotgun at the driver’s window demanding that the driver and passenger exit the vehicle. When the driver refused, and instead began to drive the vehicle away from Hodges, Hodges discharged the firearm into the driver’s side window, striking the driver in his torso, causing permanent and serious bodily injury.
Hodges fled the area and several minutes later approached a man who was entering a Nissan Rogue. Hodges demanded that the man hand Hodges the keys to the Nissan Rogue. When the man refused, Hodges brandished the shotgun and discharged the firearm at the man, causing permanent and serious bodily injury.
The count of carjacking carries a maximum potential sentence of 15 years in prison. The counts of attempted carjacking resulting in serious bodily injury each carry a maximum potential sentence of 25 years in prison. The count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence is punishable by a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison, which must run consecutively to any term of imprisonment imposed on any other charges. The possession of firearm by a convicted felon carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas Mahoney; the Hamilton Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Kenneth R. DeBoskey; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Col. Patrick J. Callahan; the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri, the U.S. Marshals Service, under the direction of U.S. Marshal Juan Mattos, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Bryan Miller, with the investigation leading to the guilty verdict.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric Suggs and Tracey Agnew of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
Defense counsel: Henry E. Klingeman Esq. and Ernesto Cerimele Esq., Morristown, New Jersey