8 Indicted Over Paterson Chop Shop, Stripping and Selling Stolen Vehicles
Attorney General Platkin announced this week that eight individuals of Paterson, NJ were indicted on second-degree conspiracy to receive stolen property, tamper with public records, and operate a facility for the sale of stolen automobile parts.
“Chop shops are integral to the auto theft infrastructure, providing thieves with a way to hide the identity of stolen vehicles and quickly turn around stolen cars for profit,” said Director Lyndsay V. Ruotolo of the Division of Criminal Justice.
The following individuals were formally charged –
- Eugene Coleman, 52, Paterson, NJ
- Eugeonce Coleman, 29, Paterson, NJ
- Kasaun Coleman, 38, Paterson NJ
- Jermaine Gray, 41, Paterson, NJ
- Allison Williams, 55, Newark, NJ
- Nyesha Coleman, 40, Paterson, NJ
- Linwood Bugg, 26, Newark, NJ
- Jhonatan Garcia, 35, Paterson, NJ
The indictment comes after a joint investigation by the New Jersey State Police Gangs & Organized Crime Unit, Motor Vehicle Crimes Unit, and the Motor Vehicle Commission.
The announcement of these charges comes as New Jersey ramps up enforcement amid a statewide spike in car thefts.
Last month, Attorney General Platkin announced that the New Jersey State Police and Division of Criminal Justice would expand the Auto Theft Task Force by adding more detectives and prosecutors, and by partnering with additional police departments from around the state.
Additionally, just last week Governor Murphy announced a new ten-million-dollar investment in a statewide expansion of the Automated License Plate Recognition network to help police quickly identify suspects and patterns in auto thefts.
“We’re targeting all criminal activity tied to auto theft in New Jersey, including putting an end to chop shops that serve as underground markets for stolen vehicles,” said Acting Attorney General Platkin. “Shutting down these illegal operations not only disrupts the larger stolen auto network, it cuts off a major source of income often used to carry out other criminal activities in New Jersey.”
The defendants were charged with conspiring in criminal activities tied to the chop shop from January 5, 2020, through June 5, 2020.
According to the Office of the Attorney General, Eugene Coleman, Kasaun Coleman, and Gray were identified as the operators of the Chop Shop.
Police executed a search warrant at the shop, located at 358Hamilton Avenue in Patterson, New Jersey, and recovered numerous stolen ATVs and a stolen motorcycle.
During the course of the investigation, State Police detectives discovered that Eugeonce Coleman was driving a red Dodge Caravan with an altered vehicle identification number (VIN) that had been reported stolen in Paterson in 2019.
Detectives also identified four other cars in the suspects’ possession that had been registered using the title papers and VINs of older and/or badly damaged vehicles of similar makes, models, and years – an illegal practice known as “revinning.”
Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to ten years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.