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Press Release

Four Men Arrested for Interstate Catalytic Converter Thefts

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

NEWARK, N.J. – Four men were charged today for their roles in a scheme to steal catalytic converters from vehicles in New Jersey and transport the stolen goods to New York, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Carlos Gonzalez Sabino, 27, and Marcos Rivas Cruz, 21, both of the Bronx, New York, Juan Jose Flores Nolasco, 27, of Paterson, New Jersey, and Jeffrey Sena, 27, of New Rochelle, New York, are charged by complaint with interstate transportation of stolen goods. They are scheduled to make their initial appearances by videoconference this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge José R. Almonte.

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

Law enforcement officials identified a white BMW in connection with approximately 15 catalytic converter thefts in New Jersey from January 2022 through May 2022. On May 11, 2022, law enforcement learned that the BMW was traveling in New Jersey and had been identified by witnesses in connection with several catalytic converter thefts that had occurred in the morning. Law enforcement officials determined that the BMW would likely travel from New Jersey into New York, via the George Washington Bridge, with the stolen catalytic converters, and established surveillance there. They stopped the BMW and apprehended the defendants. Law enforcement officials found seven stolen catalytic converters, collectively valued at approximately $5,600, and other items.

Interstate transportation of stolen goods carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and maximum fine of $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Transnational Organized Crime Task Force, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Messenger; the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, under the direction of Superintendent of Police Edward T. Cetnar; and the Cranford Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Ryan Greco, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Mitchell of the Organized Crimes and Gangs 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 May 12, 2022

Press Release Number: 22-183