Trio sentenced in auto theft ring
Three members of a Detroit carjacking ring were sentenced Monday in a case related to stealing cars for a chop shop, according to the U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade's office.
Detroiters Frank Harper, 30, and Phillip Harper, 25, and Redford Township resident Bernard Edmond, 46, were sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh following a three-week trial.
Trial evidence showed the men conspired with several others to steal high-end vehicles, in many cases through armed carjacking, and then retagged the vehicles for sale. Edmond would purchase the stolen vehicles from the Harper brothers and others after the thefts, and then alter the vehicle identification number to conceal the fact that they were stolen cars, according to court documents.
Edmond also created false documents to file with the Secretary of State, then sold the cars to unknowing buyers in Michigan and other states.
Edmond created a market for the stolen vehicles by informing the Harpers and others of his desire to buy the vehicles.
McQuade's office said the Harper brothers committed several carjackings and other auto thefts. For example, on Oct. 14, 2010, Phillip Harper and others brandished firearms as they stole a Cadillac Escalade, a GMC Yukon, a Chrysler Aspen and a Mercury Milan from the Elysium Night Club downtown. In another incident. Frank Harper and others carjacked a Mercedes S550 from a person at the intersection of Atwater and Jos. Campau streets in Detroit.
Other incidents include three additional carjackings on Jos. Campau, a carjacking at Club Vain and three carjackings from the valet at Opus One restaurant, all in Detroit.
Frank Harper was sentenced to 63 years in prison, Phillip Harper to 92 years and Edmond received 75 years. Co-defendants Justin Bowman was sentenced to 168 months, Stratford Newton received a sentence of 144 months and Darrell Young received a sentence of 60 months for their roles in the conspiracy.