Thursday, May 12, 2016


Alterique Jones of Maplewood was one of 21 people arrested in a major carjacking/theft ring that included suspects from several towns throughout the state, and even New York City.

A state Attorney General's office release stated in part:

TRENTON – Acting Attorney General Robert Lougy announced that 21 people have been indicted on first-degree charges of racketeering, conspiracy and money laundering for allegedly operating a major international carjacking and stolen car trafficking ring that stole luxury cars from suburbs along the Route 17 corridor in New Jersey and neighboring New York, as well as other suburban communities in northern and central New Jersey, shipping the cars to West Africa where they command premium prices. An additional defendant was charged with attempted theft, bringing the total defendants to 22. 

The indictment, which was returned late yesterday, stems from “Operation 17 Corridor,” a joint investigation led by the Division of Criminal Justice and the New Jersey State Police, with assistance from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Police, ICE Homeland Security Investigations and numerous other agencies. Most of the defendants were arrested on Oct. 27, 2015, when the partnering agencies broke up the theft ring. Ninety stolen cars worth more than $4 million were recovered. 

Two alleged leaders of the ring, Tyja Evans, 39, of Watchung, N.J., and Ibn Jones, 37, of Newark, N.J., are charged with the second-degree crime of leading an auto theft trafficking network. 

The ring operated based on demand for specific vehicles, including various models of Land Rover, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Maserati, Porsche, Jaguar and Bentley. Some cars were taken through carjackings, while others were taken in “soft steals” from locations where the thieves were able to steal them with their electronic keys or key fobs, which are critical to the resale value of the cars. Within the ring, individuals filled various roles, including carjacker, car thief, wheel man, fence, shipper and buyer. Shippers would load the cars into shipping containers, which were taken to ports for transport by ship to West Africa.

Jones, 41, was allegedly a lower level operative in the ring, described as a carjacker, thief or "wheel man."

See the entire release HERE.

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