Nigerian living illegally in Laurel sentenced in scheme to ship stolen vehicles to West Africa

BALTIMORE - A Nigerian citizen residing illegally in Laurel, today to 21 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring to commit interstate transportation of stolen vehicles.

According to Eric Olaniyan's plea agreement,from 2012 through April 22, 2013, Olaniyan and others shipped stolen cars from the United States to countries in West Africa for resale.  The conspirators hired others to steal the vehicles with the keys, so that the vehicles could be more easily sold. 

Olaniyan, 53, was paid cash to store the stolen vehicles at a parking lot or other locations, known as "cooling spots."  The stolen vehicles were subsequently loaded into containers and shipped to buyers in Africa.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, in early March 2013, a Prince George's County Police detective located three stolen vehicles parked near Olaniyan's residence.  The movements of the vehicles were tracked through April 2, 2014, and all eventually ended up at warehouses known to be used for loading shipping containers that are exported from the United States.  

On April 22, 2013, a search warrant was executed at Olaniyan's apartment. Eight stolen vehicles were found parked in the area and the keys from those vehicles were seized from Olaniyan's apartment, along with a counterfeit vehicle title for one of the vehicles.

Upon completion of his sentence, Olaniyan will be transferred into ICE custody pending immigration removal proceedings. Judge Motz also entered an order that Olaniyan pay $65,040.46 in restitution.


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