BEYOND BERGEN: A Guttenberg man captured in Florida is headed to prison for three years for his role in a high-end stolen car ring that routed vehicles from New Jersey to Abu Dhabi for re-sale.
Adam Hassan, 32, also must pay the $5,000 cost of his extradition as part of a trio of plea-bargained sentences handed down against him and two other men in Superior Court in Morristown on Friday.
Acting state Attorney General John J. Hoffman called the case “proof of our intent to ensure that New Jersey’s ports and locales are not hubs for international crime.”
“Car theft threatens the integrity of the insurance industry, whether or not the theft itself occurred within our borders,” added acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi. “Illegal trafficking of these vehicles through our state creates residual effects in the marketplace that result in rate increases for policyholders.”
The way the ring worked: Hassan told 33-year-old Ian Aguilar what kind of cars he needed, after which Aguilar contacted Tomas Bladimir Castillo-Abreu, 28, of the Bronx, who collected cars stolen out of New York City.
Aguilar and Castillo-Abreu then moved the vehicles on to New Jersey, and on to Abu Dhabi, for which Hassan paid them.
Under their plea deals, Aguilar also got three years and Castillo-Abreu probation.
Castillo-Abreu also must pay $16,000 in restitution.
Chillemi and Deputy Attorney General Bradford Muller represented the state in the prosecution. Detectives Richard Lane, Megan Flanagan and Brian Bunn investigated and analyst Bethany Schussler assisted.
Chillemi thanked the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Broward and Miami County sheriff’s departments in Florida.
Aguilar pleaded guilty in October 2011 to receiving stolen property, admitting that he received 14 stolen vehicles. He also pleaded guilty to charges brought in Morris for weapons possession, burglary and simple assault.
Hassan and Castillo-Abreu both pleaded guilty in September to receiving stolen property.
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