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Newark Man Charged in Connection with Interstate Luxury Car Theft Ring

By rlsmetro on

A fourth man was arrested today for his role in a conspiracy to steal and transport across state lines luxury cars from towns in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

According to federal officials, Bilal Cureton, 30, of Newark, is charged by amended complaint with conspiring to transport stolen vehicles in interstate commerce. Cureton was arrested today and is scheduled to appear by videoconference today before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III.

Federal officials report that Malik Baker, Hakeem Smith, and Nafique Goodwyn were previously charged by complaint with conspiring to transport stolen vehicles in interstate commerce. 

Baker and Smith were also previously charged with one count of conspiring to receive stolen vehicles and one count of receiving a stolen vehicle that had crossed state lines after being stolen, and Smith was also previously charged with one count of transporting a stolen vehicle across state lines.  

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Since July 2019, the defendants and others stole and conspired to steal at least 10 luxury cars from towns in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey, and hid those cars at a location in Irvington, New Jersey. The cars include:

  • 2019 BMW X4 M40i, stolen from Greenwich, Connecticut on July 19, 2019
  • 2016 Mercedes Maybach S600, stolen from Clifton, New Jersey, on August 1, 2019
  • 2019 Porsche Cayenne, stolen from New City, New York, on August 6, 2019
  • 2017 Mercedes S550 and a 2019 Rolls Royce, stolen from Hewlett Bay Park, New York, on August 13, 2019
  • 2019 Land Rover, stolen from Kensington, New York, on August 22, 2019
  • 2019 Mercedes Maybach, stolen from Quogue, New York, on August 29, 2019
  • 2014 Lexus GS, stolen from West Long Branch, New Jersey, on August 29, 2019
  • 2017 BMW M4, stolen from Marlton, New Jersey, on September 7, 2019
  • 2017 Mercedes AMG S63, stolen from Orangeburg, New York, in September 2019

The defendants often used the stolen cars to steal more cars, and, in one instance, they used a Maserati GranTurismo they stole from Manalapan, New Jersey, to steal a Range Rover and a Porsche Cayenne in the early morning hours of Aug. 6, 2019, in New City, New York.  

When law enforcement attempted to conduct a stop of the Maserati, the Maserati accelerated and crashed head-on into a police vehicle before the suspects fled the scene in another stolen vehicle.  

Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement recovered one of the stolen cars in a shipping container at the port in Newark en route to Ghana, Africa. 

The cars stolen by the defendants have an estimated total value of at least $1.5 million.

The charge of conspiracy to transport stolen vehicles is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offenses, whichever is greater.

This investigation is part of the Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) in Newark. The VCI was formed in August 2017 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the City of Newark’s Department of Public Safety to combat violent crime in and around Newark. 

As part of this partnership, federal, state, county, and city agencies collaborate and pool resources to prosecute violent offenders who endanger the safety of the community. The VCI is composed of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the ATF, the DEA New Jersey Division, the U.S. Marshals, the Newark Department of Public Safety, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, N.J. State Board of Parole, Union County Jail, N.J. State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center/Real-Time Crime Center, N.J. Department of Corrections, the East Orange Police Department, and the Irvington Police Department.

The charges and allegations contained in the amended complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.