NEWARK — The two leaders of an auto theft ring targeting luxury vehicles have been sentenced to a combined 16 years in state prison.

Kian Barber, 37, of Newark, and David Manning, 30, of East Orange led the operation that stole and trafficked 18 high-end cars valued at over $1 million, Attorney General Matthew Platkin said.

They were sentenced on July 15 after pleading guilty to second-degree receiving stolen property. Barber was sentenced to nine years in prison while Manning received a seven-year sentence.

According to the Attorney General's Office, six people including Barber and Manning have been sentenced for their role in the fencing ring.

The group went to New York State and targeted luxury brands such as Audis, Land Rovers, BMWs, Mercedes, and Maseratis, Platkin said. They then used Barber's driveway in Newark as a place to "cool off" and make sure the vehicles weren't being tracked.

Platkin said that one member of the group, Tytaneisha Wilder, 33, of East Orange, would drive members to New York to steal the cars or drive them back home after offloading the vehicles. Wilder was sentenced on July 15 to three years in prison.

Najai Diggs, 37, of Newark was the first member of the ring to accept a plea deal. He pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy to commit receiving stolen property and on Jan. 28, 2021, received a five-year prison sentence.

Tyshad Hawkins, 20, and Kasim Williams, 29, both of Newark, accepted plea deals earlier this year. They were sentenced to three and six years in prison respectively.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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