Public Notices and Press Releases

Union County Man Sentenced for Luxury Car Theft Ring

41-Month Prison Term for Participant in Multi-State Luxury Vehicle Conspiracy

NEWARK, N.J. Malik Baker, a 30-year-old resident of Vauxhall, New Jersey, has been sentenced to 41 months in prison for his involvement in a conspiracy to steal and transport luxury vehicles across state lines. U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger announced the sentencing, which took place today in Newark federal court under U.S. District Judge Esther Salas. Baker's conviction stems from his participation in a scheme that targeted luxury cars in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

Baker, who had previously admitted to conspiring to transport stolen vehicles in interstate commerce and receiving a stolen vehicle, was implicated alongside his conspirators, Hakeem Smith, Nafique Goodwyn, and Bilal Cureton, all faced with related charges. Smith received an identical 41-month sentence in April 2023, while Goodwyn was sentenced to time served in February 2024. Cureton is currently awaiting his sentencing.

The criminal operation, active since July 2019, was responsible for the theft of at least 10 high-end vehicles, including models from BMW, Maserati, Range Rover, Porsche, Mercedes, and Lexus. These vehicles were stolen from various towns across the tri-state area and hidden in Irvington, New Jersey. Notably, the stolen cars were often used to commit further thefts, leading to a high-speed confrontation with law enforcement involving a stolen Maserati GranTurismo.

One of the stolen vehicles was intercepted in a shipping container at the Newark port, en route to Ghana, Africa, highlighting the international implications of the theft ring. In addition to his prison term, Judge Salas sentenced Baker to three years of supervised release, underscoring the severity of the crimes and their impact on public safety and property loss.

The successful prosecution of Baker and his co-conspirators was the result of a collaborative effort among various law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, Newark Police Department, and several local police departments across New Jersey and New York. This case is part of the Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) in Newark, a joint effort to combat violent crime and enhance community safety through federal, state, county, and city partnerships.

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