Earlier today, a five-count indictment was returned by a federal grand jury sitting in Brooklyn, New York, charging Oswald Lewis, also known as “Alexander Louis,” “Junior,” “Andrew Jackson,” “Andre Bernard Jackson,” “John Green,” “Leslie Howard” and “Dre,” with assault on a federal officer by use of a deadly weapon and related firearms offenses. Lewis was arrested on August 26, 2014, and has remained in custody since then. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge I. Leo Glasser.
The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Charles G. Dunne, United States Marshal for the Eastern District of New York; William J. Bratton, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), and James S. Higgins, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), New York Field Division.
As alleged in court documents, Lewis has been wanted since 1991 on numerous drug charges by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. On August 26, 2014, the United States Marshals Service located Lewis in an apartment in the Springfield Gardens section of Queens, New York. Later that evening, Deputy U.S. Marshals and officers of the New York City Police Department went to the apartment to arrest him. When Deputy U.S. Marshals entered the apartment, Lewis, who was wearing body armor, yelled that he was holding a hostage and began shooting. In the midst of his shooting spree, Lewis fired shots out his apartment window at members of the NYPD, who had surrounded the premises. During an exchange of gunfire, Lewis was shot in the arm. He eventually surrendered and was taken into custody. No law enforcement officers were injured.
“As alleged, Oswald Lewis sought to extend his life on the lam by shooting his way out of a confrontation with law enforcement, endangering officers and civilians alike. As this case illustrates, the apprehension of armed fugitives like Lewis is a dangerous task,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “We owe a great deal of gratitude to the United States Marshals Service, the New York City Police Department, and our other law enforcement partners, for their valiant and courageous efforts that, at long last brought Lewis to justice, and for safeguarding the communities that we call home. I also express thanks to the ATF for its participation in this investigation.”
“As alleged in the indictment, this incident shows just how dangerous fugitive work can be for the U.S. Marshals. This fugitive was wearing body armor, and he was armed with two illegal semi-automatic pistols when he opened fire without warning. Fortunately, no law enforcement officers were injured. This could have ended much differently,” stated United States Marshal Dunne.
ATF Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Higgins stated, “Although the defendant was able to enjoy his freedom for a substantial period of time, he quickly learned to appreciate the relentlessness of law enforcement. The ATF is grateful that no officers or innocent civilians were injured during Lewis’s capture and are determined - alongside the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners - to see this investigation to its end. Society deserves nothing less.”
The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan P. Lax.
Queens, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 14-CR-523 (ILG)