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Press Release

Four Individuals Charged in Stolen Vehicles Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – Four individuals were charged for their roles in a conspiracy to receive, retitle, and “re-VIN” stolen vehicles, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Nathaniel Bell, aka “David Jones,” 26, of Linden, New Jersey; Johnathan Tanksley, 30, of Orange; L’Hubermane Felix, 24, of Miami, Florida; and Dayanna Sarango-Hidalgo, 28, of Newark, are each charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to receive stolen vehicles. Bell is additionally charged with five counts of altering or removing motor vehicle identification numbers (VIN) and one count of transportation of stolen vehicles. Felix made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jessica S. Allen in Newark federal court. Bell, Tanksley and Sarango-Hidalgo made their initial appearances earlier this month before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward S. Kiel in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

The defendants conspired to obtain stolen vehicles from New Jersey, New York, Florida, and other states, obtained fraudulent titles for the stolen vehicles, and altered vehicle identification numbers to conceal the fact that the vehicles were stolen. The stolen cars were then sold to dealerships or individual purchasers so the defendants could make a profit. In at least one instance, the defendants sold a stolen car to an individual purchaser and then stole it back so they could sell it again. They accomplished this by placing Apple AirTags in the stolen vehicles to track the location of the vehicle after its sale. 

Each defendant faces up to five years in prison on the conspiracy charge. The maximum penalty that Bell faces for each count of altering or removing a motor vehicle identification number is five years in prison, and the maximum penalty for transporting a stolen vehicle is 10 years.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked the New Jersey State Police Auto Theft Task Force; the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission; the Union County Prosecutor’s Office; the National Insurance Crime Bureau; the Jersey City Police Department; the Belleville Police Department; the Rahway Police Department; the Linden Police Department; the Roselle Police Department; the Eatontown Police Department; the Freehold Police Department; the Elizabeth Police Department; the Miami Police Department (Florida); the Florida Highway Patrol; Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; the Howard County Police Department (Maryland); the New York Police Department; the Nassau County Police Department (New York); the Georgia Department of Revenue; the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice; the Deputy Attorney General’s Office; the FBI Miami Office; the FBI Cleveland Office; and the FBI Milwaukee Office. 

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Thompson of the General Crimes Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Updated February 14, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-057