On March 14, 2023, the Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud/Auto Theft Unit New Orleans Field Office (LSP-IFAT-NFO) was contacted by Homeland Security Investigations regarding the seizure of illegal items being imported into the United States.
The investigation revealed that on March 8, 2023, investigators from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) identified a suspicious shipment from Bulgaria with a final destination in Amite, La. The contents of the package were determined to be two counterfeit General Motors Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plates.
On March 14, 2023, CBP identified a second suspicious package from Bulgaria with a final destination to a different address in Amite, La. The contents of the second package was determined to be two Ford VIN plates. Further investigation revealed that the number/letter sequence of the Ford VIN plates had not been used by the Ford Motor Company, however the sequence was specific to a 2019 Ford F-250. On the same date, CBP identified a third suspicious package from Columbia to the same address as the first package in Amite, La. The package contained multiple forms of identity which were determined to be counterfeit. Through investigative means, detectives were able to identify 27-year-old Tijuan Rayun Self as a suspect and determined his residence to be the same address as the final destination of the first and third packages.
On March 17, 2023, detectives obtained and executed a search warrant at Self’s residence in Amite. During the search, a 2019 Ford F-250 truck, valued at $67,000, was located on the property. The F-250 was determined to be stolen from a dealership in Tylertown, MS on February 20, 2023 by means of fraudulent financing through the use of a counterfeit identity. Detectives were also able to determine that the VIN located in the second package was used during the fraudulent purchase. Also located in the search was a 2020 Diamond Seed double axle trailer, valued at $16,000 and was reported stolen by Brookhaven Police Department in Mississippi on January 24, 2023. Additionally, multiple credit cards in various names other than Self’s were located, five of which were linked to over $2,000 in fraudulent purchases.
As a result of the investigation, Tijuan Rayun Self was arrested for Illegal Possession of Stolen Things (2 counts), Attempted Crime of Motor Vehicle Alteration or Removal of Identifying Numbers (1 count), Attempted Unlawful Possession of Fraudulent Documents for Identification Purposes (2 counts), Attempted Identity Theft (2 counts), Unauthorized Possession of Accessed Device (5 counts) and booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Prison.
The LSP-IFAT-NFO continues to investigate crimes related to auto theft and insurance fraud. Citizens can report suspected fraud to the LSP-IFAT via: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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