Man admits to role in $1.6 million car theft ring, prosecutors say

Published 7:49 am Friday, June 2, 2023

An Alabama man admitted this week to a scheme involving the theft and interstate shipment of at least $1.6 million in stolen cars, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Homeland Security Investigations Acting Special Agent in Charge Travis Pickard.

Dexter Sherrod Pearce, 34, of Birmingham, pleaded guilty this week to conspiracy and interstate transportation of stolen motor vehicles. As part of his plea, Pearce admitted that from May 2020 until August 2022, he and others stole and transported from one state to another at least 24 cars valued at over $1.6 million.

Pearce admitted as part of his plea that he and others stole cars from automobile dealerships and individuals in other states and transported them to the Northern District of Alabama to sell. The conspirators also stole cars in Alabama and transported them to other states to sell. To conceal that the cars were stolen and to facilitate the sale of the stolen cars, Pearce and others caused vehicle identification numbers to be altered, obtained false bills of sale and tag applications, and used the false documents to obtain bogus car titles and registrations.

According to the plea agreement, Pearce has agreed to pay restitution to the victims of his crimes and forfeit $227,615.00, representing the money he made during the conspiracy.

“The theft and interstate transportation of stolen vehicles has been a persistent problem in many parts of this country, and we are grateful for the work of HSI in unraveling this scheme,” said U.S. Attorney Escalona.

“Organized criminal activity, such as this, is extremely costly to victims and the economy as a whole,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Travis Pickard, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in Georgia and Alabama. “Every day, HSI and our law enforcement partners, are working to disrupt these criminal organizations and bring those who look to profit from these stolen goods to justice.”

The maximum penalty for conspiracy is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for interstate transportation of stolen cars is ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.