Prosecutors: 14 indicted in car-smuggling ring

Prosecutors say 14 people have been indicted in a stolen-car operation ranging from New York City to West Africa.



Authorities say the suspects, three of whom are from the Bronx, stole luxury vehicles from rental car lots at nearby airports. They then allegedly hid them in shipping containers and sent them overseas.



The suspects also allegedly forged documents for the stolen vehicles. Officials say the ring hid cars at a lot at 380 Bruckner Blvd. in the Bronx.



Seven of the defendants faced a judge Wednesday. They are charged with more than 30 counts of criminal possession of stolen property, grand theft and conspiracy charges.



According to investigators, the leader of the operation is Dramane Doumbia. Assistant State Attorney Brandi S. Kligman said Doumbia shipped and exported more than 39 stolen cars totaling $1,357,000.



The seven defendants who appeared in court today pleaded not guilty. If convicted on the most serious of charges, each could face a maximum of five to 15 years in state prison.



The others accused in the case are still awaiting their day in court.


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