Three men charged in connection with an interstate luxury car theft ring

NEWARK, NJ — Three men have been charged for their alleged roles in a conspiracy to steal luxury cars in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut and transport them across state lines, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced June 24.

Malik Baker, aka “Smack” and “Mu,” 26, of Vauxhall; Hakeem Smith, aka “B.A.” and “Hak,” 29, of Newark; and Nafique Goodwyn, 26, of Newark, were charged by complaint with conspiring to transport stolen vehicles in interstate commerce. Baker and Smith were also charged with one count of conspiring to receive stolen vehicles and one count of receiving a stolen vehicle that had crossed state lines after being stolen, and Smith was also charged with one count of transporting a stolen vehicle across state lines. 

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, beginning in July 2019, the defendants and others stole and conspired to steal at least 10 luxury cars in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, and hid those cars at a location in Irvington. The cars included a BMW stolen from Greenwich, Conn., on July 19, 2019; a Mercedes stolen from Clifton on Aug. 1, 2019; a Porsche stolen from New City, N.Y., on Aug. 6, 2019; a Mercedes and a Rolls Royce stolen from Hewlett Bay Park, N.Y., on Aug. 13, 2019; a Land Rover stolen from Kensington, N.Y., on Aug. 22, 2019; a Mercedes stolen from Quogue, N.Y., on Aug. 29, 2019; a Lexus stolen from West Long Branch on Aug. 29, 2019; a BMW stolen from Marlton on Sept. 7, 2019; and a Mercedes stolen from Orangeburg, N.Y., in September 2019.

The defendants often used the stolen cars to steal additional cars, and, in one instance, they used a Maserati GranTurismo they stole from Manalapan to steal a Range Rover and a Porsche from New City, N.Y. When law enforcement attempted to conduct a stop of the Maserati, the Maserati accelerated and crashed head-on into a police vehicle before the suspects fled the scene in another stolen vehicle. Law enforcement recovered one of the stolen cars in a shipping container at the port in Newark en route to Ghana.

The cars stolen by the defendants have an estimated value of at least $1.5 million.

The charges of interstate transportation of stolen vehicles and receipt of stolen vehicles are both punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offenses.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until found guilty in a court of law.