Attorney General James Takes Down Motorcycle Theft Ring In New York City

Attorney General James Takes Down Motorcycle Theft Ring in New York City

11 Individuals Indicted and Charged with 187 Crimes
for Theft and Resale of Dozens of Motorcycles

NEW YORK – Attorney General Letitia James today announced the takedown of a motorcycle theft and distribution operation in New York City. The 11 members of the ring were charged with 187 crimes related to the theft of 43 motorcycles in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and The Bronx during a six-month period from November 2018 to May 2019.

“The joyride is over for this group,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “For months, these individuals allegedly stole dozens of motorcycles from unsuspecting New Yorkers and then dismantled them for profit or resold them to customers who knowingly purchased stolen goods. I want to thank the NYPD and the Queens District Attorney’s Office for their partnership in bringing these individuals to justice. Our streets are safer today than they were yesterday.”

“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. “I commend and thank the Office of the Attorney General, the Queens District Attorney’s Office and the hardworking members of our NYPD Auto Crime unit for their professionalism and dedication to this investigation – which is now bringing justice to these eleven individuals.”

“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. “In keeping with Judge Brown’s tradition of collaborating with our law enforcement partners, we brought this information to the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force with full confidence the case was in good hands. We thank Attorney General James for her work to ensure justice is served.” 

Today’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 today before Kings County Supreme Court Judge Danny Chun, the following 11 defendants were charged with numerous counts of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third and Fourth Degrees, Grand Larceny in the Third and Fourth Degrees, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Auto Stripping, and Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, among other charges, for conspiring to steal, possess, and sell 43 stolen motorcycles and one stolen GMC Savana van, valued at a total of over $280,000.

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 reselling 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.

This 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 merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The charges in the indictment are the result of a joint investigation by the Attorney General’s OCTF, and the NYPD Auto Crime Unit. In addition, the Attorney General would like to thank the Queens County District Attorney’s Office and the New York State Department of Financial Services for their valuable participation in this investigation.

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.