Essex County Man Pleads Guilty To Leading An Auto Theft Ring

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TRENTON – An Essex County man has pleaded guilty to acting as a leader of a multi-county automobile and motorcycle theft ring, Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced Thursday.

According to Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Riza Dagli, Demond Conley, 36, of Irvington pleaded guilty June 30 to second-degree charges of leading an auto theft network and eluding police before Superior Court Judge Michael A. Petrolle in Essex County.  The charges were contained in an April 15 state grand jury indictment.

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The state will recommend that Conley be sentenced to eight years in state prison, including three years of parole ineligibility.  Judge Petrolle scheduled sentencing for Aug. 30.  Deputy Attorney General John J. Higgins took the guilty plea for the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.

In pleading guilty, Conley admitted that between Aug. 11 and Nov. 10, 2009, he was an organizer of a scheme to unlawfully distribute or transport stolen high-end automobiles and motorcycles in New Jersey.  Conley trafficked in a number of stolen motorcycles and automobiles on various dates over this time period.  On Nov. 10, 2009, he was arrested in Irvington as he completed sales of a stolen 2008 BMW 750, valued at approximately $85,000, and a stolen 2009 Nissan 370Z, valued at approximately $35,000.

Conley also admitted that at the time of his arrest, when law enforcement officers of the Essex/Union Auto Theft Task Force tried to stop him, he fled the scene and attempted to cause serious bodily injury to the officers by ramming police vehicles.

Also charged in the indictment were:

·         Terrence Simonson, 29, of Newark.  Simonson was charged with second-degree conspiracy; second-degree fencing; second-degree eluding; second-degree aggravated assault; and second-degree hindering apprehension.

·        Demetrius Ross, 34, of Newark.  Ross was charged with two counts of second-degree theft by unlawful taking; two counts of second-degree receipt of stolen property; third-degree theft by unlawful taking; third-degree receipt of stolen property; and second-degree fencing.

·        Josef T. Allen, 23, of Irvington.  Allen was charged with third-degree conspiracy and third-degree fencing.

·        Kelli Coleman, 40, of Newark.  Coleman was charged with third-degree conspiracy and second-degree insurance fraud.

·        “John Doe” (also known as “J.P.”), age and address unknown, was charged with third-degree fencing.

Simonson and Ross were also arrested on Nov. 10, 2009 at the scene of the sale of the stolen BMW 750 and Nissan 370Z by detectives from the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor and officers from the Essex/Union Auto Theft Task Force.

The cases against the remaining defendants are pending.


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