- Associated Press - Saturday, February 27, 2016

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Two men admitted their roles in an international auto theft and carjacking ring that targeted luxury vehicles from New Jersey and New York and shipped them overseas.

Kurtis Bossie and Jim Bryant Jr., both 24-year-old Newark residents, pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy and carjacking charges, according to the state attorney general’s office. Bossie faces 18 years in prison and Bryant faces 10 years when they are sentenced April 15.

The charges stem from “Operation Jacked,” a 10-month state investigation that recovered 160 stolen cars worth more than $8 million. The ring targeted high-end vehicles including Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Jaguar and Aston Martin.

Many of the cars were taken at gun or knifepoint and shipped to West Africa, where luxury vehicles command prices in excess of new market value in the United States.

Twenty-seven of the recovered vehicles had been taken in carjackings, a majority of which involved a gun or other weapon, authorities said. The others were stolen from various locations where the thieves were able to steal them with one or more of their electronic keys or key fobs, which are critical to the resale value of the cars.

Individuals filled various roles in the ring, including carjacker, car thief, wheel man, fence, shipper and buyer. Carjackers and thieves, who worked in “theft crews,” would typically be paid $4,000 to $8,000 for a stolen car by street-level fences, who sold cars up the chain to higher-level fences.

Shippers would load the cars into shipping containers, which were taken to ports for transport.

Of the roughly 160 vehicles recovered, 140 were recovered at area ports. The ring operated in multiple counties in New Jersey.

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