Federal authorities say a New York woman has been sentenced to more than 21 years in prison for operating a large-scale car theft operation that was shipping stolen vehicles overseas.

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New Jersey's U.S. attorney said Friday that Hope K. Kantete was sentenced for her role as the leader of a ring responsible for shipping dozens of stolen and carjacked luxury cars and SUVs worth more than $2.5 million from New Jersey to Africa.

The 44-year-old Brooklyn resident was among 19 charged in what prosecutors described as a complex criminal organization that stole, sold and exported the vehicles through seaports in Newark and Elizabeth.

Prosecutors say Kantete, known as "the Lady," had an extensive customer base overseas.

She was convicted in June 2013 on 10 counts related to transporting stolen vehicles.


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