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Long IslandCrime

Federal jury convicts Westbury man of shooting marijuana dealer during drug deal

Spencer Jean, who goes by the street nickname

Spencer Jean, who goes by the street nickname "Cash," met the victim when both were completing  previous sentences at a halfway house in Queens, according to court papers. Credit: NYDOJ

A Westbury man previously convicted of using a gun in a crime of violence was convicted Tuesday of shooting a marijuana dealer he had met when they were both serving federal sentences in a halfway house, officials said.

The jury also convicted Spencer Jean, 33, of robbing the dealer, as well as possession with intent to distribute marijuana, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and obstruction of justice in federal court in Central Islip, officials said.

Jean, who goes by the street nickname “Cash,” met the victim, who was identified only as John Doe, when both were completing previous sentences at a halfway house in Queens, according to court papers.

Jean, who was convicted after a two-week trial, faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison on the firearms discharge count, and up to a total of 45 years on the other charges when he is sentenced, officials said.

Jean had arranged to buy a half-pound of marijuana from the victim for $1,500, records say. But when he showed up at John Doe’s Middle Island home in March 2018, he pointed a 9mm Glock handgun with hollow point ammunition at the victim and told him to hand over the marijuana, according to court records.

The marijuana was in a computer bag which Jean picked up. The victim grabbed for the bag, at which point Jean shot him in the upper leg, shattering his femur. Jean then fled with the bag, the court papers said. The obstruction counts involved Jean getting a girlfriend to give him a false alibi for the time of the shooting.

Jean’s previous conviction in 2012 was for robbing stores in Nassau County at gunpoint, according to court records. John Doe had been previously convicted of mail fraud.

“Spencer Jean is a dangerous felon who used a handgun to commit a violent crime, and in doing so put others in the community at grave risk,” Eastern District United State Attorney Richard Donoghue said in a statement. “Stopping gun violence  in the district is a continuing priority of this office and our federal and local law enforcement partners.” Both Suffolk police and the FBI worked on the case.

Jean was prosecuted as part of the Justice Department’s Project Safe Neighbors program,  a joint effort by federal and local law enforcement which is aimed at reducing violent crime at the local neighborhood level,  officials said.

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