Louisiana man pleads guilty to having role in car theft ring in Mississippi and four other states
Published 7:29 am Friday, August 26, 2022
A Louisiana man has pleaded guilty to conspiring to transport and sell cars stolen from car dealerships and rental car rental facilities in Mississippi and four other states.
U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that Tawaun Sylvester, 47, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, pleaded guilty on August 23, 2022 before Chief U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown to conspiring to transport and sell stolen cars across state lines in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy).
According to the indictment, Sylvester and his co-conspirators stole cars from car dealerships and rental car facilities in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. After the cars were stolen, these defendants would retitle the cars under fraudulent Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINS) with the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles. After the cars were retitled and cloned with fraudulent VINS, the defendants would then resell the cars to buyers in the New Orleans metro area at discounted prices.
At sentencing, which is set for December 8, 2022, Sylvester faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum fine of up to $250,000, a maximum term of supervised release of three years, and a mandatory $100 special assessment fee.
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Louisiana State Police in investigating this matter. Assistant U. S. Attorneys Spiro G. Latsis and Jon Maestri are in charge of the prosecution.