Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that five defendants were indicted today on charges that they conspired to operate a Newark-based stolen auto trafficking ring that fenced stolen luxury vehicles.
They were charged in an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Motor Vehicle Crimes North Unit and the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ). The DCJ Specialized Crimes Bureau today obtained a state grand jury indictment charging the following defendants with second-degree conspiracy to receive and fence stolen property:
- Kian Barber, 36, of Newark
- David Manning, 29, of East Orange
- Tytaneisha Wilder, 32, of East Orange
- Kasim Williams, 28, of Newark
- Tyshad Hawkins, 19, of Newark
All of the defendants with the exception of Hawkins are also charged with second-degree receiving stolen property and second-degree fencing.
In addition, Manning is charged with second-degree attempted theft; Hawkins is charged with third-degree receiving stolen property, and Williams is charged with third-degree escape from detention.
According to the attorney general's office, after being placed under arrest on September 23, 2020, Williams allegedly attempted to escape by running away from officers. Officials said that the defendants and other unidentified individuals allegedly conspired to possess and fence 18 high-end stolen vehicles valued at more than $1 million. Most of the vehicles were stolen in New York State and driven to New Jersey, where they most often were parked in the driveway of Barber’s residence in Newark.
According to officials, the ring allegedly used the driveway to “cool off” the vehicles and make sure they were not equipped with tracking devices that would lead law enforcement to them. Barber and Manning allegedly led the ring, with Williams, Hawkins, and others working under them.
Officials said that Wilder allegedly assisted ring members by driving them to New York State to commit thefts or driving the “follow car” to bring ring members home after they drove stolen vehicles out of state to be fenced. “These defendants allegedly were trafficking stolen high-end vehicles, including Audis, Land Rovers, Mercedes, BMWs, and Maseratis,” Attorney General Grewal said.
“This was big business for these alleged ring members, who are charged with trafficking 18 stolen vehicles worth more than $1 million in just over three months. By dismantling criminal networks like this one, we are reducing auto thefts and making our communities safer. I commend the New Jersey State Police and Division of Criminal Justice for their excellent work on this investigation and indictment.” The defendants were initially arrested on warrants issued in September 2020. Another lower-level ring member, Najai Diggs, 35, Newark, pleaded guilty in December to second-degree conspiracy and was sentenced on January 28, to five years in state prison.