TRENTON – Two individuals from Tuckerton and Neptune were among dozens arrested and charged as the result of “Operation Jacked” and “Operation 17 Corridor,” major investigations and prosecutions that targeted international carjacking and stolen car trafficking rings, announced Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal.
The operations led to arrests and charges against more than 50 ring members in 2014 and 2015, and recovery of approximately 250 stolen vehicles worth over $12 million.
The final defendant, Panel Dalce, was sentenced Friday, Dec. 20. The Division of Criminal Justice secured prison sentences for 42 defendants, including lengthy sentences for the lead defendants.
Operation Jacked and Operation 17 Corridor, conducted in 2014 and 2015, targeted two major carjacking and stolen car-trafficking rings that stole high-end cars in New Jersey and New York and shipped them to West Africa, where the vehicles commanded prices above new market value in the United States.
These operations had a major effect on carjacking in New Jersey, which reached a peak of 407 in 2012 and 389 in 2013. Following the 2014 and 2015 investigations, these figures declined to 199 in 2014 and 186 in 2015, and remained down in the years that followed with 184 in 2016, 222 in 2017 and 132 in 2018.
“We made our communities safer with Operation Jacked and Operation 17 Corridor by arresting carjackers and completely dismantling criminal organizations that were providing a lucrative market for luxury stolen vehicles,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We have sent the leaders and key players in these rings to prison, where they can no longer threaten residents with this dangerous type of street-level crime.”
Operation Jacked took place in 2014, resulting in prison sentences for 21 defendants and the recovery of approximately 160 stolen cars worth over $8 million. According to the Attorney General, this ring targeted specific luxury vehicles, particularly SUVs made by Land Rover, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Honda, Porsche, Jaguar, and Aston Martin. This ring stole 27 cars through carjackings, using a gun or other weapon, as well as others taken through “soft steals” where the thieves were able to steal them with one or more of their electronic keys or key fobs. In other cases, ring members obtained cars through fraud, using bad checks to buy cars from dealerships.
“Shippers would load the cars into shipping containers, which were taken to ports for transport by ship to West Africa. Of the 160 vehicles recovered, 140 were recovered at ports, including Port Newark, Port Elizabeth and Howland Hook Seaport in Staten Island, N.Y. The ring operated in multiple counties in New Jersey, including Essex, Union, Morris, Monmouth, Middlesex, Bergen and Somerset Counties,” stated a release from the AG.
Operation Jacked secured prison sentences for 21 individuals, including two from Ocean and Monmouth Counties:
- Abdur Abdullah, 38, of Tuckerton, N.J., a fence and thief, pleaded guilty to second-degree conspiracy and was sentenced to five years in prison with three years of parole ineligibility.
- Kevin Collins, 45, of Neptune, N.J., a wheel man who moved stolen cars for the ring, pleaded guilty to second-degree receiving stolen property and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Seven additional lower-level defendants pleaded guilty to third-degree charges and were sentenced to terms of probation, in one case including a county jail term of 288 days.
Operation 17 Corridor took place in 2015, resulting in prison sentences for 21 defendants and the recovery of approximately 90 cars worth over $4 million. The ring that was dismantled operated based on demand for specific luxury vehicles, including various models of Land Rover, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Maserati, Porsche, Jaguar and Bentley. Some cars were taken through carjackings, while others were stolen from locations where the thieves were able to steal them with one or more of their electronic keys or key fobs.
Of the 90 vehicles recovered in Operation 17 Corridor, 23 were recovered at ports used by the ring, including Port Newark, Port Elizabeth, Global Terminal in Bayonne, and the Howland Hook Seaport in Staten Island, N.Y. The ring operated in Rockland County, N.Y., and various counties in New Jersey, including Morris, Bergen, Essex, Union, Hudson, Monmouth, Middlesex, Hunterdon and Somerset.
In Operation 17 Corridor, 21 individuals received prison sentences and four additional lower-level defendants pleaded guilty to third-degree charges and were sentenced to terms of probation, in one case including a county jail term of 270 days. Another defendant pleaded guilty to second-degree receiving stolen property and was admitted to Drug Court.