DETROIT – Two men have been charged in an indictment with conspiring to steal Volkswagen and Audi vehicles from a lot in Pontiac, United States Attorney Matthew Schneider announced Monday.
The suspects charged include Romane Porter, 42, of Farmington Hills and Daniel Onorati, 41, of Eastpointe.
Onorati was arraigned last week on the charges in federal court in Detroit and was released on an unsecured bond. Porter is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges on April 12. The charges stem from an investigation initiated by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Auto Theft Unit.
According to the seven count indictment, beginning in March, 2017 and continuing through September, 2017, Porter and Onorati conspired with each other and others to steal approximately 61 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles that were parked in a lot at the site of the former Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan.
Once in possession of the stolen vehicles, the defendants and others stored and sold or attempted to sell many of these stolen vehicles. Of those 61 stolen vehicles, the Indictment alleges that 46 left the state of Michigan.
If convicted on the charge of sale or possession of stolen motor vehicles, the defendants each face a maximum penalty of ten years in prison. If convicted on the charge of conspiracy, the defendants each face a maximum penalty of no more than five years in prison and a fine of not more than $250,000.
“The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI have done an outstanding job of working together on this complex criminal case,” Schneider stated. “We are fortunate to have such outstanding public servants on our law enforcement team."