NEW YORK, New York - A motorcycle stealing racket in New York City has been taken down.
The 11 members of the ring have been arrested and charged over the theft of scores of motorcycles over a six-months period.
The eleven suspects have been charged with 187 crimes involving the theft of 43 motorcycles in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and The Bronx from November 2018 to May 2019.
"The joyride is over for this group," New York Attorney General Letitia James said Wednesday. "For months, these individuals allegedly stole dozens of motorcycles from unsuspecting New Yorkers and then dismantled them for profit or re-sold them to customers who knowingly purchased stolen goods."
"Today's charges show that the NYPD and our law enforcement partners will shatter the false belief of any criminals who believe they can operate in plain sight with apparent impunity," said NYPD Commissioner James P. O'Neill.
"Over the course of an ongoing investigation, my office's Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau developed information of crimes that extended beyond the borders of Queens County," said Acting Queens District Attorney John M. Ryan.
This week's takedown originated with the Queens County District Attorney's Office and was ultimately cultivated and completed by the Attorney General's Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) and the New York City Police Department's (NYPD) Auto Crime Division.
In a 187-count indictment unsealed on Wednesday before Kings County Supreme Court Judge Danny Chun, 11 defendants were charged with numerous counts of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, Grand Larceny Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Auto Stripping, and Conspiracy for conspiring to steal, possess, and sell 43 stolen motorcycles and one stolen GMC Savana van, valued at a total of over $280,000.
The eleven facing charges are:
JENNAR BATTIESTE, a/k/a/ "FIDEL" – 38 years old, Bronx, NY
DILLAN BUDHOO – 27 years old, Brooklyn, NY
PATRICK BULL, a/k/a "P-WAY" – 33 years old, Brooklyn, NY
TREVOR DAVIS, a/k/a "FORTY" – 32 years old, Edison, NJ
TIAHRA JONES, a/k/a "TIA" – 22 years old, Queens, NY
LUMAS LAENS, a/k/a "SPAZZO" – 36 years old, Brooklyn, NY
LEWIS MORAN, a/k/a "LEW" – 41 years old, Brooklyn, NY
KAON MURRAY, a/k/a "KAY" – 29 years old, Brooklyn, NY
DIMITRI ORTIZ, a/k/a "MEECH" – 26 years old, Brooklyn, NY
JOSE RIVERA III, a/k/a "FLUFF" – 32 years old, Brooklyn, NY
STANLEY WEBB, a/k/a "STAN" – 43 years old, Brooklyn, NY
The investigation revealed motorcycle theft crew members Patrick Bull, Tiahra Jones, Lumas Laens, Kaon Murray, Dimitri Ortiz, and Jose Rivera III, were responsible for locating, stealing, dismantling, and re-selling stolen motorcycles throughout New York City. After stealing these motorcycles, the theft crew members transported the motorcycles back to a garage located in Brooklyn, where the motorcycles were either dismantled and sold for parts or disguised and sold whole to customers who knowingly purchased stolen goods, including Jennar Battieste, Dillan Budhoo, Trevor Davis, Lewis Moran, and Stanley Webb.
The joint investigation included hundreds of hours of physical and covert surveillance, court-authorized wiretapping of numerous target phones, execution of search warrants, and the recovery of dozens of hours of surveillance video capturing the thefts of numerous motorcycles. During the course of the wiretapping, conspirators frequently utilized coded and cryptic terminology in an attempt to disguise their illicit activities, such as referring to conducting a motorcycle theft as "busting a move," dismantling a motorcycle for parts as "chopping it up," and altering a vehicle identification number (VIN) as "stamping."
If convicted, each of the defendants faces a maximum of seven years in prison. The charges against the defendants are accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The investigation was directed by OCTF Investigator Bradford Farrell and Supervising Investigator Paul Grzegorski under the supervision of Downstate OCTF Deputy Chief Christopher Vasta. The Attorney General's Investigations Bureau is led by Acting Chief Investigator John Reidy.
The case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General Shanon Nicholas LaCorte with the assistance of Legal Analyst Juliana Siklos under the supervision of Deputy Chief Lauren Abinanti. Nicole Keary is the Deputy Attorney General in Charge of the Organized Crime Task Force. The Criminal Justice Division is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General José Maldonado.