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Dozens Charged in Major International Carjacking Ring

Multi-million dollar criminal enterprise 'put the public in grave danger,' acting attorney general said.

Twenty-nine men were charged Thursday in the takedown of a major international carjacking and stolen car trafficking ring that swiped luxury cars in New Jersey and New York and shipped them to West Africa, where they can sell for prices in excess of new market value in the United States.  

Twenty-three individuals were arrested Thursday as multi-agency teams executed warrants on charges including first-degree racketeering, carjacking and money laundering. Six fugitives are being sought on warrants, Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said in a release.

“Carjackers are driven to steal and even to murder by the demand that exists for luxury stolen vehicles,” Hoffman said. “This ring we took down was a double threat.  Its members committed carjackings that put the public in grave danger, while at the same time, through their fencing and shipping operations, they created demand that motivated others to commit carjackings.  We hit them hard from both ends, completely dismantling their operations.”

Approximately 160 stolen cars worth more than $8 million were recovered in “Operation Jacked,” a 10-month investigation led by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and the New Jersey State Police, assisted by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Police, ICE Homeland Security Investigations and 12 other agencies.  Approximately 140 of the cars were recovered at ports in New Jersey and New York where members of the ring delivered them for shipment.

The ring targeted high-end vehicles—particularly luxury SUVs—made by Land Rover, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Honda, Porsche, Jaguar and Aston Martin. Twenty-seven of the recovered vehicles had been taken in carjackings, a majority of which involved a gun or other weapon, while the others were stolen from various locations where the thieves were able to steal them with one or more of their electronic keys or key fobs, which are critical to the resale value of the cars.  

Authorities charged seven as leaders of the criminal enterprise.  Within the ring, individuals filled various roles, including carjacker, car thief, wheel man, fence, shipper and buyer.  Carjackers and thieves, who worked in “theft crews,” were typically paid $4,000 to $8,000 for a stolen car by street-level fences, who sold cars up the chain to higher-level fences.  Shippers loaded the cars into shipping containers, which were taken to ports for transport by ship to West Africa, according to Hoffman.

“The more we learn about the sophisticated pipeline between the supply and demand for stolen luxury cars, the better we can choke off that route and disrupt the flow,” said Col. Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.  “The scope of those arrested and charged shows just how organized this dangerous criminal enterprise had become.”

Of the roughly 160 vehicles recovered, 140 were found at ports, including Port Newark, Port Elizabeth and Howland Hook Seaport in Staten Island, N.Y.  Investigators believe additional vehicles were being moved by this criminal enterprise, beyond those recovered in the investigation.  The ring operated in multiple counties in New Jersey, including Essex, Union, Morris, Monmouth, Middlesex and Bergen.

The investigation revealed a number of individuals exercised leadership roles in the criminal enterprise, and certain defendants associated more closely with particular leaders or individuals within the larger enterprise, according to officials. 

Seven men were charged as leaders of the enterprise. They were charged with the second-degree crime of leader of an auto theft trafficking network, as well as first-degree racketeering, first-degree money laundering and second-degree fencing. The following seven alleged leaders have been arrested.  They also allegedly assumed other roles ranging from car thief to high-level fence.

  1. Leon Nii-Moi, 35, of Roselle;
  2. Kyle Champagnie, 27, of Irvington;
  3. Saladine Grant, 39, of Irvington;
  4. James Hemphill, 41, of Belleville;
  5. Omar Smith, 39, of Newark;
  6. Demarco Sparks, 40, of Newark; and
  7. Deandre Stevenson, 41, of Newark.

Three men were charged with first-degree carjacking.  They also were charged with first-degree racketeering, second-degree fencing and second-degree receiving stolen property. The following two were arrested, and the third is being sought as a fugitive. His name is being withheld.

  1. Yves Augustin, 24, of Rahway;
  2. Kurtis Bossie, 22, of Newark.

The following three men were charged as shippers. They were charged with first-degree racketeering, second-degree fencing, and either first-degree money laundering or second-degree receiving stolen property. Oduro and Nasidi were arrested. Marfo remains a fugitive.

  1. Standford Oduro, 61, of Bloomfield
  2. Kojo Marfo, 47, of Newark; and
  3. Ahmad Nasidi, 33, of Newark.

The remaining defendants were variously charged with racketeering (first degree), conspiracy (second degree), money laundering (first degree), receiving stolen property (second and third degree), and fencing (second and third degree).

The following four men were charged who allegedly acted as high-level fences.

  1. Terrell Savage, 44, of Newark;
  2. Ibn Traynham, 37, of Newark;
  3. Daniel Hunt, 36, of East Orange; and
  4. Steve McGraw, 34, of Newark.

Four men were charged who allegedly acted as street-level fences. The following two alleged street-level fences were arrested. The other two are being sought as fugitives and their names are being withheld.

  1. Abdur Abdullah, 32, Tuckerton; and
  2. Kyle Botts, 33, of Newark.

Eight other men were charged who allegedly acted as carjackers, car thieves and/or wheel men. Of those eight men, the following six defendants were arrested.  The other two are being sought as fugitives and their names are being withheld.

  1. Malik Baker, 20, of Vauxhall;
  2. Nathaniel Barnes, 31, of Irvington;
  3. Kevin Burton, 34, of Newark;
  4. Abdul Dailey III, 33, of Montclair;
  5. Johnnie Davila, 26, of Newark;
  6. Terrell Waller, 25, of Newark; and

First-degree racketeering and first-degree money laundering carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison, with a period of parole ineligibility equal to 85 percent of the sentence imposed, and a fine of up to $200,000.  

First-degree money laundering carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison, including a period of parole ineligibility equal to one-third to one-half of the sentence imposed, with the sentence to run consecutively to sentences for any other charges, and a fine of up to $500,000.  

Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

The individuals who were arrested were processed and lodged in jail with bails ranging from $100,000 to $1 million.

suz February 28, 2014 at 02:39 PM
John, I am familiar with Faubus and Wallace. They never served as President in this country (for obvious reasons). Obama is the President. That's the difference.
Marynary February 28, 2014 at 03:20 PM
Don't even try reasoning with him suz. After over five years his glorious leader still blames GWB for everything except Benghazi. For that he blamed the movies. I don't normally go this route but am tired of the Chicago politics party's constant trying to avoid responsibility.
SH Resident February 28, 2014 at 09:39 PM
Only people left supporting BHO are the parasites who live off the government and assorted white liberals who are confused and naive "If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon" or maybe one of the thugs in the mug shots above
John Santaella February 28, 2014 at 10:46 PM
Marynary. I love the Behghazi comments. Let's try to put things in perspective. Benghazi: 4 dead Americans. Iraq: 5000 dead Americans. Let's try another. Were you aware that there were 12 American Embassies attacked under Bush with a total of 60 dead? No, of course you weren't because FOX never mentioned them. They only can say: Benghazi.
John Santaella February 28, 2014 at 10:47 PM
SH Resident, I know you're a janitor at FOX but do they require you to say the crap you say? I guess they pay you a dollar over minimum for you to say these things.
George Murphy February 28, 2014 at 11:58 PM
John Rant-aella. Get some new material. I don't like re-runs, nor do I eat leftovers.
George Murphy March 01, 2014 at 12:06 AM
I like Bob's idea, not because I wish to see additional violence, but because it will work to curb this stuff - for good! {Deut. 19:15-21}
George Murphy March 01, 2014 at 12:13 AM
I also think that SH Resident has a very legitimate gripe, here. This so-called leader we are stuck with, may not be directly responsible for these crimes (because they have been committed by man since the beginning of time), but his smugness and refusal to address his own element against any of this is very evident. Also, where is Al not-so Sharpton and those other anti-white aggravators of our society?
George Murphy March 01, 2014 at 12:18 AM
Bill H - very nicely laid out. Some interesting points, too. You're right, how does one explain all of these luxury cars accumulating at the local seaports? Someone besides the African nationals must know something that most of us don't know. Has anyone checked the immigration statuses of each one of these rodents?
SH Resident March 01, 2014 at 12:43 AM
John- Are you at all concerned with the 8 trillion of debt your president has added? Of course not..that must be Bush's fault....How about the corrupt stimulus bill or the disaster that is Obamacare?.....are you honest enough to admit electing a community organizer with no record of public or private sector success was a bad idea? Now stop reading this and go watch Rachel Maddow like a good little socialist and get some talking points so you can respond
CM012 March 01, 2014 at 01:05 AM
Deez, how can you call Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton civil rights leaders?? Please tell me what they have done to improve their community because by all measures their society is moving backwards. I am not a racist. Not at all. If I see something, I will say something and I see scum.
George Murphy March 01, 2014 at 04:28 AM
Now, now John - You have used a word that - and out of respect for fellow man - I never use. Racism is not on this side of the fence, so much as it is on yours. You need to be more careful in what you say here.
Car14 March 01, 2014 at 05:21 AM
A crime is a crime. It doesn't matter what race u are, what religion u are or even what sex u are. You break the law u go to jail. Simple. Now let's hope the judges do the right thing.
Leenie2u March 01, 2014 at 07:22 AM
Sca Da Villa Tina: only Rahway and Roselle are located in Union County. I think Tuckerton is in Ocean County.
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk March 01, 2014 at 07:49 AM
I guarantee you there are some cops involved in this. guarantee you. slam dunk. you wont hear about it.
Milton Armitage March 01, 2014 at 08:33 AM
Since all of these crimes were committed by men with testicles, is it fair to say all men with testicles are suspect and should be incarcerated until proven innocent? And if their innocence can't be proven their testicles removed? These are questions that must be addressed if we as a society are to feel secure in our homes.
George Murphy March 01, 2014 at 11:15 AM
Milton - not sure of your point here, but if my assumptions are correct, you are saying that everyone is capable of anything, and he who be without sin, be the one to cast the first stone. With that I can agree.
John March 01, 2014 at 01:14 PM
Bravo Bill H. It's nice to see someone honestly and intelligently address a very serious situation . I hope and pray that one day the lefty loons who blow smoke and try to blame others for this type criminal activity will finally see the light. Your assessment was spot on !!
Tea Time March 01, 2014 at 04:28 PM
I wonder if Rissillo's manager who was carjacked at gunpoint by two men, and had his white BMW stolen, recognizes any of the photos. And if one of those cars are his.
Deez March 01, 2014 at 05:46 PM
Yeah CM012, they have done nothing and the black people in this society have gone backwards. From slaves to President of the nation that enslaved them. Yes. I see your point. lol
Deez March 01, 2014 at 06:00 PM
Americans are all immigrants . So stop being ignorant. Obama is only a representative of congress,senate. Does a CEO get to fire people,no it's the investors and chairmen. Our government is the biggest corporation and it's failing. It's hard workers. That's why we have more prisons than schools. Stop blaming Obama ,blacks,Hispanics what are you doing to make a change. We are the hated nation right now. The reason because we don't work together as people to build our nation back.
Tom March 01, 2014 at 09:04 PM
My friend was recently carjacked by 4 black men acting together in broad daylight. Shots were fired his windows were blown out he attempted to get away fortunately he was able to injure one of them however none of them were apprehended. I believe they were singled out because they were white... It is no longer safe to be white in Essex County... Arguing with The politically correct zealots...(posted above) is a waste of time ...The truth is whites must teach their children the realities that they are being targeted by blacks in Essex County... Their choices are to move or fightback... Most are moving
frank March 01, 2014 at 11:08 PM
funny...been a few days and no one has heard from reverend Al Sharpton? god forbid he should help white people. he and all his friends are the real racists
JJ March 02, 2014 at 12:36 AM
GOOD , ITS A START . Put these scumbags away for a good while !Let them know , They to need a regular job, Work at MC Donalds, Time to think about getting on there knees for the next few years & get some unwanted cock/ anal. oh well, That poor Guy From Hoboken. was at the Short hills mall back in Dec 2013 with his wife. I'm sure his wife is happy that the scumbags that killed him will get there just desserts and more !!!!
CM012 March 03, 2014 at 09:51 PM
Deez - 1 in 3 black men will go to prison in their lifetime. They currently make up 40% of the prison population. Only 47% will graduate hs, 4 out of 5 African American women are overweight or obese, birth out of wedlock is at 75% today, as a percentage, there are more Blacks on welfare then any other race. You telling me their race isnt doomed? Your other posting, about govt failing hard workers that is why there are more prisons and USA being the most hated nation. First off, govt and hard workers do not belong in the same sentence. I dont think I need to make my argument there, we all have had 'wonderful' experiences in govt offices. The govt (we) already employs some of the dumbest and laziest people out there. That is a favor in itself. We provide housing, utilities, schooling, food, cell phones (who can forget those obama phones!!!) and spending money for those less fortunate but the progress has only gotten worst. Instead of pouring more taxpayer's money into the hands of the lazy and stupid, why not just pull back all together. You have immigrant families coming to America, do not speak a lick of English, yet, they manage to provide an education for their kids, put food on the table, have a roof over their head. And what happens to those kids? Do they go to jail or end up as carjackers? No. They study their butt off in school, graduate, get a J-O-B, marry, start a family and move to affluent neighborhoods. All in 1 generation. You telling me that the African Americans cant do that or they just dont want to because for generations they got their hand out. So, before you start preaching that we need to do more, here is a thought. We should do less for them. If they are strong, they will survive. If not, its a eat or be eaten world. As for the USA being so hated. You can thank your Dear Leader for that. We have no allies right now because your Dear Leader drove them away. When Dear Leader shakes hands with socialist leaders and are praised by them, Houston, we have a problem. You ever heard of the phrase "A fish rots from the head"? So, yes, you can blame Barry Soetoro for a lot of the mess that we are in right now with foreign affairs as well as the divisiveness in our nation right now.
Deez March 05, 2014 at 02:11 AM
CM012 I agree with most you of what you said except 1. Since 2009, there has been an urban myth that Obama created a program to provide free phones to low-income Americans at taxpayer expense. There is, in fact, a government program that will provide low-income people with a free or low cost cell phone. It was started in 2008 under George W. Bush. The idea of providing low-income individuals with subsidized phone service was originated in the Reagan administration following the break-up of AT&T in 1984. (It was expanded and formalized by the Telecommunications Act of 1996.) The program is paid for by telecommunications companies through an independent non-profit, not through tax revenue. 2. The Economix blog at the New York Times reported the following in February of last year: Another finding of the study is that the distribution of benefits no longer aligns with the demography of poverty. African-Americans, who make up 22 percent of the poor, receive 14 percent of government benefits, close to their 12 percent population share. White non-Hispanics, who make up 42 percent of the poor, receive 69 percent of government benefits – again, much closer to their 64 percent population share. And most importantly 3. All blacks aren't car thieves. Many are college educated and drive fabulous cars. Lol Don't group a whole race together for a few idiots. Are all white men pedophiles and serial killers, meth and heroin pill popping drug addicts? I think not. A lot, but not all
Tom March 07, 2014 at 11:58 PM
Deez The article is about carjackings in Essex County... Most carjackers in Essex County are Black...own it
Bob March 09, 2014 at 07:11 PM
Cowards run in packs. Get one alone and see how fast he runs away. Execute the cowardly scumbags in the street in front of their families just like they did in the Short Hills Mall incident. I guarantee the others who are still out there will run away like the cockroaches who live in their filthy homes!!! Problem solved.
George Murphy March 09, 2014 at 10:01 PM
Bob - I explained in an earlier posting that the Lord gave strict commands to the Israelites through Moses and Aaron, regarding offenders and lawbreakers. As anyone with even an empty head can see, our liberally- infected social institutions no longer subscribe to anything that is correct, moral, decent or lawful. Your point, I am sure, is well taken, especially by those who live in the area of Short Hills Mall.
JJ March 10, 2014 at 09:21 AM
THE LORD GIVE ITH THE POLICE MAN TAKE ITH, THEY DESERVE WHAT THEY GET THOSE SCUMBAGS, FOR THE REST OF THERE LIVES IN PRISON !! AMEN.

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