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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 16, 2018

Yorktown Heights Truck Driver Sentenced To 48 Months In Prison For Heist Of Over $1 Million Worth Of Computers Bound For Public High School Students

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ANTON SALJANIN was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas to 48 months in prison for participating in a scheme to steal, transport, and sell a shipment of approximately 1,200 computers, valued at over $1 million, that were bound for two public high schools in New Jersey.  SALJANIN pled guilty on October 18, 2017, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa Margaret Smith to one count of conspiracy to commit theft from an interstate shipment, interstate transportation of stolen property, and receipt, possession, and sale of stolen property and one count of theft from an interstate shipment.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Anton Saljanin was the ringleader and insider in an inside job that resulted in the theft of over $1 million worth of computers meant for school kids.  Now, having admitted his role in this truck hijacking scheme, he has been sentenced to prison for his crimes.”

According to the Complaint and Superseding Indictment filed in White Plains federal court, as well as materials submitted in connection with the plea and sentencing proceedings:

On or about January 15, 2014, ANTON SALJANIN, a driver for a shipping company, drove a truck from Yorktown Heights, New York, to a technology company located in Massachusetts to pick up a shipment of approximately 1,200 computers.  SALJANIN brought his brother, Gjon Saljanin, with him.  The computers were being shipped to two public high schools located in New Jersey, and were valued at over $1 million.

The next morning, SALJANIN reported to the Yorktown Police Department that the truck had been stolen from a parking lot located in Yorktown Heights.  Later that day, SALJANIN reported to Yorktown Police that he had been driving around looking for the truck when he happened to spot it from the highway in a parking lot in Danbury, Connecticut.  The truck would not have been visible in the Danbury parking lot to a driver passing by on the highway.  Furthermore, historical cell site data for SALJANIN’s cellphone contradicts his claims about the route he took to look for the truck.

Yorktown Police detectives examined the truck and found that a window had been broken.  The detectives found broken glass on the scene in the Danbury parking lot but found no broken glass on the scene in the Yorktown Heights parking lot, suggesting that the window had been broken at the Danbury parking lot rather than at the Yorktown Heights parking lot.

During interviews with the Yorktown Police, SALJANIN and Gjon Saljanin both falsely claimed that on the night of January 15, 2014, they drove directly from a convenience store outside of Yorktown Heights to the Yorktown Heights parking lot.  Security camera footage from various locations in Yorktown Heights shows that a truck matching the description of the truck driven by ANTON SALJANIN and Gjon Saljanin departed from their claimed route, and instead traveled in the direction of the residence of Ujka Vulaj, a long-time friend of ANTON SALJANIN.  The video surveillance footage also shows that the duration of the detour corresponds to the approximate length of time it would have taken to drive to Vulaj’s residence, unload the computers from the truck, and return to the route to the Yorktown Heights parking lot.

From in or about January 2014 through at least in or about April 2014, Vulaj sold the stolen computers, some with the help of a co-worker, Carlos Caceres.  They sold the computers, which had a retail value of approximately $1,000 each, for far below the market price.  Vulaj and Caceres charged approximately $500 to $800 in cash for each computer, and handed over each computer in plain brown cardboard packaging.

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In addition to the prison sentence, SALJANIN, 46, of Yorktown Heights, New York, was sentenced to three years of supervised release.  Judge Karas also ordered ANTON SALJANIN to forfeit $989,424.15 in ill-gotten gains and to pay $989,424.15 in restitution.

ANTON SALJANIN’s co-defendants have been convicted and sentenced.  Vulaj, 56, of Yorktown Heights, New York, pled guilty on June 17, 2016, to one count of conspiracy to commit theft from an interstate shipment, interstate transportation of stolen property, and receipt, possession, and sale of stolen property, and was sentenced by Judge Karas on May 12, 2017, to 12 months and one day in prison and two years of supervised release (including 6 months of home confinement).  Judge Karas also ordered Vulaj to forfeit $989,424.15 in ill-gotten gains and to pay $989,424.15 in restitution.

Caceres, 40, of the Bronx, New York, pled guilty on July 21, 2016, to one count of conspiracy to commit receipt, possession, and sale of stolen property, and was sentenced by Judge Karas on January 6, 2017, to 27 months in prison and three years of supervised release.  Judge Karas also ordered Caceres to forfeit $331,188 in ill-gotten gains and to pay $331,188 in restitution.

Gjon Saljanin, 43, of Yorktown Heights, New York, pled guilty on October 16, 2017, to one count of conspiracy to commit theft from an interstate shipment, interstate transportation of stolen property, and receipt, possession, and sale of stolen property, and was sentenced by Judge Karas on May 4, 2018, to 12 months and one day in prison and two years of supervised release.  Judge Karas also ordered Gjon Saljanin to forfeit $989,424.15 in ill-gotten gains and to pay $989,424.15 in restitution.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Yorktown Police Department, the Westchester County Police Department, and the New York City Police Department.  He also thanked the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office for its assistance.

This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Won S. Shin, Benjamin Allee, and Scott Hartman are in charge of the prosecution.

Press Release Number: 
18-238
Updated July 16, 2018