NEWARK, New Jersey (Reuters) - A New York woman was sentenced on Friday to more than 21 years in prison for leading a carjacking ring that stole luxury cars valued at more than $2.5 million to sell in West Africa, according to federal prosecutors.
In U.S. District Court in Camden, New Jersey, Judge Robert Kugler sentenced Hope “The Lady” Kantete, 44, to 262 months, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a statement.
Kantete was ordered to pay $346,937 in restitution and, after she gets out of prison, undergo three years of supervision. She was convicted in June 2013 of 10 counts of transportation of stolen vehicles and one conspiracy count.
Kantete’s lawyer, Brian Neary, was not immediately available for comment.
The ring purchased stolen and carjacked luxury cars and SUVs from thieves who targeted victims in northern New Jersey and New York, prosecutors said. The ring then re-tagged them with new vehicle identification numbers, created fraudulent title documents and shipped the cars overseas.
Kantete, known as “The Lady” in the criminal enterprise, arranged to have the vehicles loaded onto shipping containers and sent to ports in West Africa, where the cars were resold for at least twice their U.S. retail value, prosecutors said.
Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Grant McCool