NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 82 months in prison for assaulting and carjacking at knifepoint a U.S. Postal Service employee, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Wallace Johnson, 32, of Newark, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez to an indictment charging him with carjacking and assaulting a federal employee. Judge Vazquez imposed the sentence by videoconference today.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Johnson admitted that on June 6, 2020, he walked up to a postal employee who was sitting in the car’s driver seat while on a break from delivering mail in Newark. Johnson held a box cutter against the postal employee’s neck and the box cutter’s blade pierced the postal employee’s skin, causing a small laceration. While Johnson held the box cutter against the postal employee’s neck, he demanded that the postal employee get out of the car and leave everything inside of the car. After the postal employee got out of the car, Johnson entered the car and drove away.
Shortly thereafter, law enforcement officers saw the carjacked car driving at a very high rate of speed and attempted to conduct a car stop, not knowing at that time about the carjacking. During a subsequent car chase, Johnson crashed the car and fled on foot. Several minutes later, during a canvass of the nearby neighborhood, law enforcement officers found Johnson as he hid behind a parked car and then arrested him following a foot pursuit. Law enforcement officers recovered the postal employee’s cellular telephone and the boxcutter that Johnson used during the assault and carjacking.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Vazquez sentenced Johnson to three years of supervised release.
Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig credited members of the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara, and postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Rodney M. Hopkins in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Levin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Violent Crimes Unit in Newark.