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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

'Operation Wheels of Fortune' Philadelphia: Dozens of Muslim Car Thieves Arrested in $2.3 Million Car Theft Ring That Sent Vehicles to West Africa, Support of Terrorism?


BENSALEM, Pa. - April 17, 2012 Law enforcement authorities are calling it 'Operation Wheels of Fortune,' but clearly this was no game. State Police say Thompson BMW in Doylestown and Don Rosen Imports in Conshohocken were frequent targets of a sophisticated car theft ring.   Authorities say the suspects involved are part of a massive international theft ring that operated in the Philadelphia area, ultimately sending the cars to West Africa. 

Most of the vehicles, including SUVs, were ripped off by stealing keys from local car dealers, but also through violence and threats.  "With gun point robberies, home burglaries, and carjackings, which were also used to obtain the vehicles that foreign brokers and buyers were seeking," Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said.

Police say this is how it worked: The street level thieves steal the vehicles then contact middlemen brokers like Akim Lane of Folsom, said to be one of the key players in the racket. In the area around 61st and Lindbergh in Southwest Philadelphia, investigators say Lane would park the stolen vehicles on the streets so potential buyers could drive by and inspect them in sort of an illicit, open air, stolen car showroom.

 
Once the cars were purchased they were loaded into shipping containers and taken to the Newark, New Jersey port for shipment to West African destinations including Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia.  "The cars that are brought over to West Africa to be sold are going to sell for about 20% to 30% more than they are in this country," Noonan said.


Pennsylvania State Police were able to intercept and recover 41 stolen vehicles, before and after they had been loaded into shipping containers, all bound for cargo ships that were headed to West Africa. Those vehicles, worth approximately $1.6 million, ranging in value from a 2009 Mercedes C300, worth $24,000, to a 2010 Porsche Panamera, valued at $120,000.


State Police identified nine individuals who allegedly assisted Fornah and others in the buying and shipping of stolen vehicles including Abdulai Daboh, Morris Keita, Dennis Koroma, Jameel Wilson and Umaru Sheriff-Riley, all of Philadelphia; Sheik Fofanah, of Yeadon, PA; Ibrahim Bah, of New York City; Abu Bakarr Jollah, of Gaithersburg, Maryland; Mamady Kaba, of Odenton, MD; and Ebrima Gikeneh, of Greenbelt, Maryland.

"This was a systematic and organized effort to target, steal and quickly move a massive inventory of stolen luxury cars, bound for international customers who were either unaware or did not care where the vehicles may have come from," Noonan said. Kelly and Noonan noted that while most of the vehicles stolen in the Philadelphia area were obtained by stealing keys from car dealerships, investigators also located and recovered a number of other vehicles from shipping containers that had allegedly been obtained through violence or threats of violence.

"According to police records that were located after we recovered these vehicles, at least 17 were obtained through car-jackings, gun point robberies or thefts, mostly in and around Newark, New Jersey," Noonan said. Additionally, Kelly said that at least nine other vehicles were allegedly stolen from an Avis car rental agency located near the Philadelphia airport, with at least six of those thefts allegedly linked to an employee at that business - Darrin Culler, of Newark, Delaware.
The State Police investigation also identified several other individuals accused of attempting to purchase stolen vehicles from Akim Lane, including Boubacar Diallo and Ibrahima Diallo, both from Brooklyn, New York; along with Abdul Shaw, of Darby, PA.  Kelly and Noonan noted that this remains an active and ongoing investigation into the organized theft and illegal export of stolen vehicles.


Kelly and Noonan thanked the following agencies for their assistance with this investigation and today's arrests, including: The Philadelphia Police Department, U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), New Jersey State Police, United States Marshals Service (Fugitive Task Force), Maryland State Police, New York City Police Department and the Bensalem Township (Bucks County) Police Department.

A list of the defendants and the charges filed against them is included below:
Qadiyr Anderson, 22, 5334 Catherine St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to commit theft, eight counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition, 20 counts of receiving stolen property, one count of criminal attempt to receive stolen property and eight counts of the unauthorized use of automobiles. 

Ibrahim Bah, 36, 120 W. 116th St., New York, NY, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to receive stolen property, four counts of receiving stolen property and four counts of unauthorized use of automobiles.


Bryheem Beckett, 20, 2470 77th Ave., Philadelphia, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to commit theft, nine counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition, nine counts of receiving stolen property and nine counts of unauthorized use of automobiles.

Kyle Beckett, 39, 7529 Limekiln Pike, Philadelphia, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to commit theft, 29 counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition, 29 counts of receiving stolen property and 29 counts of unauthorized use of automobiles.


Abdulai Daboh, 28, 2543 South 71st St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to receive stolen property, two counts of receiving stolen property and two counts of unauthorized use of automobiles.

Darrin Culler, 21, 5103 Winterhaven Drive, Newark, DE, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to commit theft and nine counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition.


Boubacar Diallo, 32, 220 Montgomery St., Brooklyn, NY, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to receive stolen property and one count of criminal attempt to receive stolen property.


Ibrahima Diallo, 26, 220 Montgomery St., Brooklyn, NY, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to receive stolen property and one count of criminal attempt to receive stolen property.

Jordan Fields, 21, 7216 Forrest Ave., Philadelphia, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to commit theft, three counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition, three counts of receiving stolen property and three counts of unauthorized use of automobiles.

Shiek Fofanah, 31, 948 W. Cobbs Creek Parkway, Yeadon, PA, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to receive stolen property, two counts of receiving stolen property and two counts of unauthorized use of automobiles.


Mohamad Fornah, 25, 6617 Guyer Ave., Philadelphia, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to receive stolen property, 16 counts of receiving stolen property and 16 counts of unauthorized use of automobiles.

Ebrima Gikeneh, 42, 6021 Springhill Drive, Greenbelt, MD, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to receive stolen property, two counts of receiving stolen property and two counts of unauthorized use of automobiles.

Abu Bakarr Jalloh, 29, 324 Market St., Gaithersburg, MD, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to receive stolen property, two counts of receiving stolen property and two counts of unauthorized use of automobiles.

Mamady Kaba, 36, 687 Winding Stream Way, Odenton, MD, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to receive stolen property, two counts of receiving stolen property and two counts of unauthorized use of automobiles.


Morris Keita, 46, 6540 Guyer Ave., Philadelphia, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to receive stolen property, two counts of receiving stolen property and two counts of unauthorized use of automobiles.
Dennis Koroma, 25, 1714 South Frazier St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to receive stolen property, six counts of receiving stolen property and six counts of unauthorized use of automobiles.

Akim Lane, 31, 111 MacDade Boulevard, Folsom, PA, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to commit theft, 14 counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition, 13 counts of receiving stolen property, two counts of criminal attempt to receiving stolen property and 13 counts of unauthorized use of automobiles.

Robert Mayes, 22, 1248 South 24th St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to commit theft, one count of theft by unlawful taking or disposition, one count of receiving stolen property and one count of unauthorized use of automobiles.


Monte Qualls, 19, 6610 Sprague St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to receive stolen property, seven counts of receiving stolen property, seven counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition and seven counts of unauthorized use of automobiles.

Abdul Shaw, 27, 129 North 9th St., Darby, PA, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to receive stolen property and one count of criminal attempt to receive stolen property.


Umaru Sheriff-Riley, 30, 3018 South 68th Street, Philadelphia, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to receive stolen property, six counts of receiving stolen property and six counts of unauthorized use of automobiles.

Leonard Spencer, 24, 7241 Ogontz Ave., Philadelphia, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to commit theft, one count of theft by unlawful taking or disposition, one count of receiving stolen property and one count of unauthorized use of automobiles.


Jerry Thomas, 34, 5219 N. Warnock St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to commit theft, one count of theft by unlawful taking or disposition, one count of receiving stolen property and one count of unauthorized use of automobiles.
Kyion Williams, 20, 4901 Stenton Ave., Philadelphia, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to commit theft, 25 counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition, 25 counts of receiving stolen property and 25 counts of unauthorized use of automobiles.

Jameel Wilson, 19, 2238 S. 69th St., Philadelphia, is charged with one count of participating in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, one count of conspiracy to receive stolen property, two counts of receiving stolen property and two counts of unauthorized use of automobiles.



Bill Warner Sarasota Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM at www.wbipi.com