Three New Jersey Men Charged in Connection with Interstate Luxury Car Theft Ring
NEWARK, N.J. – Three New Jersey men have been charged for their alleged roles in a conspiracy to steal luxury cars in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut and transport them across state lines, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
Malik Baker, a/k/a “Smack,” a/k/a “Mu,” of Vauxhall, New Jersey, 26, and Hakeem Smith, a/k/a “B.A.,” a/k/a “Hak,” 29, and Nafique Goodwyn, 26, both of Newark, were charged by complaint with conspiring to transport stolen vehicles in interstate commerce. Baker and Smith were also charged with one count of conspiring to receive stolen vehicles and one count of receiving a stolen vehicle that had crossed state lines after being stolen, and Smith was also charged with one count of transporting a stolen vehicle across state lines. Goodwyn was arrested today and made his initial appearance via video conference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson. He will be released on $100,000 bond with home detention. Baker and Smith are currently detained on unrelated charges and will make their initial appearances in federal court at a later date.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Beginning in July 2019, the defendants and others stole and conspired to steal at least 10 luxury cars in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, and hid those cars at a location in Irvington, New Jersey. The cars included a 2019 BMW X4 M40i, stolen from Greenwich, Connecticut, on July 19, 2019; a 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600, stolen from Clifton, New Jersey, on Aug. 1, 2019; a 2019 Porsche Cayenne, stolen from New City, New York, on Aug. 6, 2019; a 2017 Mercedes S550 and a 2019 Rolls Royce, stolen from Hewlett Bay Park, New York, on Aug. 13, 2019; a 2019 Land Rover, stolen from Kensington, New York, on Aug. 22, 2019; a 2019 Mercede-Maybach, stolen from Quogue, New York, on Aug. 29, 2019; a 2014 Lexus GS, stolen from West Long Branch, New Jersey, on Aug. 29, 2019; a 2017 BMW M4, stolen from Marlton, New Jersey, on Sept. 7, 2019; and a 2017 Mercedes AMG S63, stolen from Orangeburg, New York, in September 2019.
The defendants often used the stolen cars to steal additional cars, and, in one instance, they used a Maserati GranTurisimo they stole from Manalapan, New Jersey, to steal a Range Rover and a Porsche Cayenne in the early morning hours of Aug. 6, 2019 in New City, New York. When law enforcement attempted to conduct a stop of the Maserati, the Maserati accelerated and crashed head-on into a police vehicle before the suspects fled the scene in another stolen vehicle. Law enforcement recovered one of the stolen cars in a shipping container at the port in Newark en route to Ghana.
The cars stolen by the defendants have an estimated value of at least $1.5 million.
The charges of interstate transportation of stolen vehicles and receipt of stolen vehicles are both punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offenses.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Douglas Korneski in Newark;, as well as the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose; the Irvington Township Police Department, under the direction of Director Tracy Bowers; the Clarkstown, New York, Police Department, under the direction of Chief Raymond McCullagh; the Wall Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Kenneth Brown Jr.; the Marlboro Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Peter Pezzullo; the Tewksbury Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Tim Barlow; the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Colonel Patrick J. Callahan; and the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Michael J. Williams, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Amore and Olajide Araromi of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.