Hawthorne Man Gets Prison Time For Directing Violent Attacks

A Hudson Valley marijuana dealer from Northern Westchester will spend nearly two decades in prison for directing multiple violent attacks, including a brutal beating that left a man naked and bloody in a pile of snow, officials announced. 



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Hawthorne resident Wayne Hicks, age 32, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for charges related to the attacks and drug trafficking, the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York announced on Thursday, April 4. 

According to federal officials, Hicks, a Rockland County marijuana dealer also known as "Weez," directed two separate acts of violence to support his drug business. 

The first attack happened in November 2020, when a marijuana dealer working for Hicks was robbed. After this, Hicks arranged for a co-conspirator to shoot one of the robbers, officials said.

The second act of violence planned by Hicks happened in February 2021, when a dealer named Jordan Woodbine who worked under Hicks was robbed. Hicks then contacted his brother, Dwayne, to arrange retribution for the robbery. 

Dwayne Hicks then lured the victim believed to have participated in the robbery to a Rockland County residence in New City, where he and several other assailants physically attacked him. Wayne Hicks monitored this incident over a video chat, federal officials said.

During the beating, the victim was forced to strip naked before the attackers stole his belongings, including a quantity of marijuana that they believed he had stolen. The assailants then beat the victim with a baseball bat, belts, and their hands and feet while also slashing and stabbing him with a large knife. The victim eventually fled the scene after being left in a pile of snow naked and covered in blood. 

The other defendants who carried out this second attack at Hick's direction were also convicted, officials said. At one of the sentencing hearings of these defendants, Judge Cathy Seibel called the attack "sickening," "vicious," "stomach-turning, and the sort of thing that you really can’t imagine how any human being could partake in.”

US Attorney Damian Williams also condemned the attacks: "The substantial sentence imposed by the court makes clear that the law has no tolerance for this kind of brazen violence," he said. 

Hicks was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery, one count of Hobbs Act Robbery, one count of Travel Act Assault, one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. 

In addition to his prison sentence, Hicks will be required to serve five years of supervised release. 

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