Judge keeps sky-high bail for men accused in huge luxury car ring
Things are off to a rocky start for the group of dozens of people accused of running a New Jersey-based international luxury car ring.
Authorities allege the 22 people charged this week swiped luxury cars from throughout central and northern New Jersey as well as New York — selling them in West Africa for premium prices. Tactics varied — from carjackings to thefts from driveways to removal of cars straight from dealer lots. And authorities say the group was sophisticated — changing VINs, registering cars in other states and letting stolen cars "cool off" long enough to get off the radar.
NJ.com reports a judge ordered bail of $750,000 and $700,000 for two alleged leaders of the group — even though the state's bail guidelines top out at $400,000 for first-degree racketeering.
Judge Stephen Taylor said the allegations are "exceedingly serious," noting many included threats of violence, and refused to lower the bails that were set when the 22 men were charged, according to the report.
Three of those charged remain fugitives, authorities say.
As reported earlier this week by NJ1015.com, authorities say they've recovered at least 90 vehicles worth about $4 million.
Taylor kept bail at $750,000 for one alleged ring leader, Tyja Evans, 39, of Watchung, and $700,000 for another alleged leader, Eddie Craig, 36, of Edgewater Park.
All 22 are charged with first-degree racketeering, first-degree money laundering, and second- or third-degree receiving stolen property and fencing.
The following are the alleged primary roles of those charged:
Tyja Evans, 39, of Watchung,
Ibn Jones, 37, of Newark
Eddie Craig, 36, of Beverly
Shippers and High-Level Fences
Peter Cleland, 32, of East Orange
Sowah Anan, 31, of Elizabeth
Manuel Oliveres, 44, of Jersey City
Adama Fofana, 53, of the Bronx, N.Y.
Alpha Jalloh, 26, of New York, N.Y.
Higher-Level Fence and Retagger of Vehicles
Panel Dalce, 43, of South Orange
Frazier Gibson, 29, of East Orange
Eric Aikens, 40, of Newark
Lavell Burnett, 38, of Newark
Damion Mikell, 32, of Newark
Carjackers, Car Thieves and/or Wheel Men
Nasir Turner, 36, of Newark
Derrick Moore, 36, of Keansburg
Kenneth Daniels, 29, of Newark (fugitive)
Tyree Johnson, 22, of Newark
Donnel Carroll, 28, of Newark (fugitive)
Khalil Culbreath, 38, of Newark (fugitive)
Terrence Wilson, 39, of Newark
Marquis Price, 32, of Newark
Alterquie Jones, 40, of Maplewood
The various charges could land the individuals in jail for dozens of years, with fines reaching into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The individuals who were arrested were processed and lodged in jail with bails ranging from $100,000 to $1 million. The defendants are scheduled to be in court on Friday, Oct. 30, at 1:30 p.m. for a first appearance on the charges before Superior Court Judge Stephen J. Taylor in Morristown.