Fourth man charged in connection with interstate luxury car theft ring


A fourth man has been arrested 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 has announced.

The conspiracy has a connection to Manalapan, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

Bilal Cureton, 30, of Newark, was arrested on Jan. 19 and charged by amended complaint with conspiring to transport stolen vehicles in interstate commerce, according to the press release from Honig’s office.

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.

Smith was also previously charged with one count of transporting a stolen vehicle across state lines, according to the press release.

According to documents filed in the 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, Essex County.

The cars include a 2019 BMW X4 M40i, stolen from Greenwich, Conn., on July 19, 2019; a 2016 Mercedes Maybach S600, stolen from Clifton on Aug. 1, 2019; a 2019 Porsche Cayenne, stolen from New City, N.Y., on Aug. 6, 2019; a 2017 Mercedes S550 and a 2019 Rolls Royce, stolen from Hewlett Bay Park, N.Y., on Aug. 13, 2019; a 2019 Land Rover, stolen from Kensington, N.Y., on Aug. 22, 2019; a 2019 Mercedes Maybach, stolen from Quogue, N.Y., on Aug. 29, 2019; a 2014 Lexus GS, stolen from West Long Branch on Aug. 29, 2019; a 2017 BMW M4, stolen from Marlton on Sept. 7, 2019; and a 2017 Mercedes AMG S63, stolen from Orangeburg, N.Y., in September 2019.

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

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

During the investigation, law enforcement officers 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, according to the press release.

Among the many police departments and law enforcement agencies Honig thanked for their assistance in this case, the Acting U.S. Attorney thanked officers with the Marlboro Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Peter Pezzullo.