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NJ State Police, Division of Criminal Justice charge nine during 11-month auto theft investigation

Detectives Link Suspects to More than $966,000 Worth of Stolen High-end Vehicles and Seize More $133,000 Worth of Drugs

NEW JERSEY – The New Jersey State Police and Division of Criminal Justice have charged nine suspects who were allegedly targeting high-end vehicles in New Jersey and New York that were to be shipped and sold overseas as a result of an 11-month investigation, which linked suspects to 22 stolen vehicles valued at more than $966,000 and resulted in the seizure of more than $133,000 worth of drugs.

In February of 2020, the New Jersey State Police Motor Vehicle Crimes North Unit, which is comprised of State Police detectives and members of the Paramus Police Department, Morris Township Police Department, Warren Township Police Department, Bernards Township Police Department, River Vale Police Department, Montville Police Department, Newark Police Department, and the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, began assisting the Edgewater Police Department with the investigation of a Range Rover that was stolen in Edgewater Borough, Bergen County.

During the investigation, detectives located the vehicle in West Orange Township, Essex County and linked the theft to Francis Mensah, 56, of Newark, Rosevensk Bien-Aime, 30, of Maplewood, and Stephen Atuahene, 31, of Hillside.

As a result of the on-going investigation, detectives discovered that Mensah, Bien-Aime, and Atuahene were targeting high-end vehicles in New York and New Jersey that would eventually be shipped and sold overseas. Detectives also linked Najai Diggs, 35, of Newark, Abdul Farl, 42, of Orange, Richard Afrifa, 34, of East Orange, Sheriff Kamarudeen, 22, of Winchester, OH, and Muhammad Mustapha, 50, of Silver Spring, MD to the operation.

Through various investigative means, detectives discovered that the suspects were renting a lot at a shipping warehouse on Frelinghuysen Avenue in Newark to store stolen vehicles prior to shipping. The vehicles would then be loaded into shipping containers and taken to area ports. With assistance from the United States Customs and Border Protection, detectives intercepted and searched several of the shipping containers at the ports, which led to the recovery of numerous stolen vehicles.

On August 12, 2020, detectives determined that Kamarudeen was operating a stolen 2019 Land Rover Range Rover in Raritan Township, Somerset Borough where he was located and arrested during a motor vehicle stop. He was charged with receiving stolen property.

On January 13, 2021, detectives from the Motor Vehicle Crimes North Unit and Fugitive Unit along with members of the United States Marshals Service NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force located and arrested Rosevensky Bien-Aime at a residence on Freiner Place in Irvington, Essex County. During the arrest, detectives discovered that Bien-Aime was in possession of heroin.

A short time later, detectives obtained and executed a search warrant at the residence. As a result, detectives seized more than 6,000 tablets of oxycodone hydrochloride, more than 87 bricks of heroin, a large capacity magazine, hollow point ammunition, and more than $18,120 cash. A second occupant of the residence, Stacey James, 28, of Irvington was also arrested.

The following were charged:

Bien-Aime was charged with second-degree receiving stolen property, second-degree fencing, second-degree conspiracy to commit receiving stolen property, second-degree conspiracy to commit fencing, second-degree possession of CDS with intent to distribute, second-degree conspiracy to possess CDS with intent to distribute, third-degree possession of CDS within 1000 feet of a school zone, third-degree possession of CDS, third-degree money laundering, fourth-degree possession of hollow point ammunition, and fourth-degree possession of a large capacity magazine.

James was charged with second-degree possession of CDS with intent to distribute, second-degree conspiracy to possess CDS with intent to distribute, third-degree possession of CDS within 1000 feet of a school zone, third-degree possession of CDS, third-degree money laundering, fourth-degree possession of hollow point ammunition, and foruth-degree possession of a large capacity magazine

On December 10, 2020, Najai Diggs pleaded guilty to third-degree conspiracy to fence stolen property, with a recommended sentence of 5 years in New Jersey State Prison. His sentencing is scheduled for January 28, 2021.

Mensah was arrested at his residence on October 8, 2020 and was charged with second-degree receiving stolen property, second-degree fencing, second-degree conspiracy to commit receiving stolen property, and second-degree conspiracy to commit fencing.

Atuahene was arrested at his residence on October 15, 2020 and was charged with second-degree receiving stolen property, second-degree fencing, second-degree conspiracy to commit receiving stolen property, and second-degree conspiracy to commit fencing.

On November 12, 2020, Farl charged with second-degree receiving stolen property, second-degree fencing, second-degree conspiracy to commit receiving stolen property, and second-degree conspiracy to commit fencing.

On December 18, 2020, Mustapha was charged with third-degree receiving stolen property, third-degree fencing, second-degree conspiracy to commit receiving stolen property, and second-degree conspiracy to commit fencing.

Afrifa was arrested at his residence on January 5, 2020 and was charged with second-degree receiving stolen property, second-degree fencing, second-degree conspiracy to commit receiving stolen property, and second-degree Conspiracy to commit fencing.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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