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Press Release

Two Charlotte Men Face Federal Charges For Scheme That Involved Buying And Selling Stolen High-End Vehicles

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina
The Defendants Also Face Gun Charges

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A newly unsealed federal indictment charges two individuals for their roles in a conspiracy to buy and sell stolen high-end vehicles worth millions of dollars, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. The defendants are also charged with gun offenses.

Robert M. DeWitt, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina, and Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

Andre Lamar Sumner, 41, and Erren Woodson, 39, both of Charlotte, are charged in a conspiracy to transport, possess, and sell stolen vehicles in interstate commerce, and to possess with intent to sell vehicles with altered Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs). Both defendants are also charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking activities. Sumner is also charged with trafficking in motor vehicles with an altered VIN. 

The indictment alleges that, between 2022 and 2024, Sumner, Woodson and others conspired to buy and sell high-end motor vehicles that were stolen from car dealerships, rental car companies, and private parties across the United States, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Missouri. As alleged in the indictment, Sumner operated as a “fence” in the conspiracy, buying and selling the stolen motor vehicles. A fence is someone who assists in finding or dealing with buyers for stolen properties. To maximize profits, Sumner sought to fence high-end stolen vehicles such as luxury models made by BMW, Land Rover, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce, as well as trucks and other expensive modes from Chevrolet, Dodges, Ford and RAM. According to allegations in the indictment the conspiracy involved stolen vehicles worth millions of dollars.

The indictment further alleges that Sumner sold the stolen cars to buyers at prices significantly below the vehicles’ fair market values. To avoid detection and to maximize the stolen vehicles’ resale values, Sumner and others regularly altered the stolen vehicles’ original VINs and fraudulently registered the stolen vehicles with various state motor vehicle agencies. According to allegations in the indictment, Woodson purchased stolen vehicles from Sumner and sought potential buyers for Sumner’s stolen vehicles.

The indictment alleges that, during the scheme, Sumner and Woodson were also engaged in the distribution of narcotics and unlawfully possessed a variety of firearms, including handguns, shotguns and rifles, in furtherance of their drug trafficking activities.

The charges in the indictment are allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of five years. Each charge of possession of a stolen vehicle and trafficking in motor vehicles with an altered VIN carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The charge of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

This is the third indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Charlotte related to trafficking in stolen vehicles. Five individuals were indicted in August 2023, for stealing luxury vehicles from dealerships throughout the United States. Two additional individuals were indicted in November 2023, for orchestrating high-end auto thefts from businesses in South Carolina.

U.S. Attorney King thanked the FBI and CMPD for their investigation of the case. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Bozin and Daniel Ryan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte are prosecuting the case. 


Updated March 25, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Financial Fraud
Firearms Offenses