Marietta PD had been experiencing vehicle thefts from the Jim Ellis Audi dealership over a period of time where high end vehicles were being stolen. All of the thefts were key fob switches which raised suspicion that an organized auto theft ring was possibly operating in the area.
After several months with no leads in the case and none of the vehicles had been recovered, the investigation had stalled. Then on 07 July 2016, a black 4door Audi A7 was recovered on a traffic stop by Officer Jason Lewis, of the Dunwoody Police Department. . Officer Lewis seized the suspect’s 2 cell phones for evidence.
Detective Arrowood, retrieved the two cell phones from Dunwoody PD, for search warrants that would possibly produce further investigative leads regarding the thefts at the dealership and identify anyone involved from the inside.
Detective Arrowood obtained the search warrants for the two iPhone’s and upon forensic examination, both phones contained a large amount of data pertaining to sales and transactions for multiple high end vehicles. One phone contained financial data, account numbers, bank account records, etc., which appeared to be used to facilitate identity thefts and money laundering operations. The other phone contained numerous photos of high end vehicles including a Mercedes E350, that was stolen from Jim Ellis Audi. The photos of this vehicle had been taken around the time of the theft, and Bolorunduro finally admitted possession of the Mercedes. The vehicles in the photos have yet to be identified, but are presumed to be stolen as well. As Detective Arrowood began to go through the phone records and financial data, additional suspects were identified as part of the ring, including an employee of Jim Ellis Audi, Mann Abess El-Ale, and the broker (middle-man) Ola Oginni. Evidence was also recovered that suggests multiple vehicles have been illegally exported to areas of Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
Detective Arrowood contacted FBI Atlanta, and the case information was duplicated at their request for possible federal prosecution. FBI Atlanta is currently working a money laundering case with Bolorunduro, with ties to the Republic of Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.
In March 2017, state warrants were issued for Akintayo Bolorunduro, and Mann Abess El-Ale, for Theft by receiving and violation of the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act."
This case is still ongoing in attempt to recover the remaining vehicles and additional arrests are expected.