Coming for You/Save a Life
On Monday, November 6, 2023, Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced the kick-off of a new public service initiative meant to reinforce his office’s ongoing commitment to aggressively prosecute the illegal possession and use of guns. This two-pronged “Coming for You/Save a Life” public service initiative is designed to:
- Act as a harsh warning/reminder of the severe consequences for those who put our neighbors at risk through illegal gun possession and related violence.
- Encourage community members to contribute to making our streets safer by anonymously reporting someone who is carrying an illegal firearm or involved in gun-related violence.
The initiative will feature a series of billboards focused on warning offenders of harsh consequences of illegal gun possession, and a series of posters and postcards that encourage the anonymous reporting of those who possess illegal guns in Orange County. In addition, the campaign includes a powerful public service announcement video intended to drive home the negative impacts of illegal gun possession and the need for the community to contribute to making our streets safer. The video can be found at: LINK.
Thi initiative was not funded at the taxpayers’ expense. Instead, costs were covered by asset forfeiture funds seized from people convicted of crimes.
COMING FOR YOU
Did you know that 98% of crimes related to illegal gun possession and handgun-related violence in Orange County are committed by less than 1% of the population?
No one should have to live in fear in their own neighborhoods.
To that end, the District Attorney’s Office continues to work with local law enforcement to utilize available technology, including DNA, body-worn camera footage, surveillance video, phone technology, and analysis to identify and prosecute violent criminals.
Once offenders are arrested, the Office’s most experienced Assistant District Attorneys will do everything in their power to hold violent criminals accountable, including seeking significant prison sentences for such offenders.
The concept is simple: If you have an illegal firearm in Orange County, we are COMING FOR YOU. You WILL face felony charges, and you WILL serve prison time.
Increasingly, the Office has seen a direct connection between high-level narcotics trafficking and guns. To disrupt narcotics trafficking is to also disrupt violent crime, and vice versa. As such, the Office continues to pursue lengthy and fruitful long-term narcotics investigations, which often result in the recovery of illegal guns. Such recovery frequently means taking a gun off the street and out of the hands of a dangerous offender before it can hurt or kill others.
SAVE A LIFE
We are in this together. To maintain the safety of our shared community, law enforcement needs the cooperation and assistance of the public to stand up in the face of illegal gun possession and use.
It’s time to put an end to gun violence across our communities, and you can help.
As part of the “Save a Life” initiative, law enforcement is urging the cooperation of members of the community to reach out to the dedicated confidential tip line to report illegal gun possession or use.
If you are a victim of, or witness to gun violence, or know of someone who is carrying an illegal firearm, law enforcement is asking that you be brave enough NOT to stay silent. Anonymously report illegal gun possession and/or activity to the District Attorney’s Confidential Crime Tip Line by calling 845-291-2106.
Your bravery could save a life, maybe even your own.
To be clear, law enforcement’s pursuit of violent offenders does not - and will never - include the vast majority of gun owners who lawfully and safely possess legal firearms. To the contrary, the licensed/lawful possession of guns is an important right in our community. However, those who flout our laws and who use guns unlawfully against others pose a grave risk to us all. Police, prosecutors, and members of our community must work together to keep our streets safe.
Help spread the word; find materials from the initiatives below that can be used on social media or for display, or distribution in your office, business, home, community centers, and anywhere else the message may be heard.
For further information about the “Coming for You” campaign, or to request copies of the materials prepared for the campaign, please contact the District Attorney’s Special Projects and Community Affairs Bureau at 845-615-3640 or by email at DACommunityAffairs@OrangeCountyGov.com.
NOTABLE ILLEGAL GUN-RELATED CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS
- July 2023: Newburgh resident Lamont Williams, 29, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to Manslaughter in the First Degree and Assault in the Second Degree. At the plea proceedings, Williams admitted to using an illegal pistol in the City of Newburgh, killing a 29-year-old man and injuring a 5-year-old boy. FULL RELEASE
- June 2023: Middletown resident Wayne Lewis was sentenced to 12 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to Attempted Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree. At the plea, Lewis admitted that while in the Park Circle area of Middletown, he attempted to possess the loaded firearm, which he handed to another man. That second man proceeded to shoot a third man in the leg. Because of his criminal history, which includes two prior violent felony convictions, Lewis was found to be a persistent violent felony offender, which resulted in the maximum term of his sentence being life imprisonment. FULL RELEASE
- Oct. 2022: Bronx resident Desean Owens was sentenced to a total of 58 ½ years in prison in connection with attempted murder shooting of a City of Middletown police officer and endangering nearby children. FULL RELEASE
- Sept. 2022: Newburgh resident Corey Owens, 29, was convicted after jury trial of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and sentenced to 15 years in prison after he was found to be in possession of a loaded 9mm semiautomatic pistol on Van Ness Street in the City of Newburgh. FULL RELEASE
- May 2022: Newburgh resident Cornelius Stubbs, 51, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 25 years after he was found guilty of breaking into a New Windsor apartment and shooting both his estranged girlfriend and her new boyfriend. The estranged girlfriend died from her injuries. The verdict came after a month-long trial where Stubbs was found guilty of Murder in the First Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, and numerous other felony charges. FULL RELEASE