Two brothers from Northern Westchester pleaded guilty Thursday for participating in a scheme to steal, transport and sell 1,200 computers valued at $1 million meant for two high schools in New Jersey, announced Joon H. Kim, the acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Anton Saljanin and Gjon Saljanin of Yorktown Heights are scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas in February 2018.
According to the Complaint and Superseding Indictment filed in White Plains Federal Court, as well as materials submitted in connection with the plea proceedings:
On or about January 15, 2014, 45-year-old Anton Saljanin, a driver for a shipping company, drove a truck from Yorktown Heights to a technology company located in Massachusetts to pick up a shipment of approximately 1,200 computers. Saljanin brought his brother, 42-year-old Gjon Saljanin with him.
The next morning, Anton Saljanin reported to the Yorktown Police Department that the truck had been stolen from a parking lot located in Yorktown Heights. Later that day, Anton Saljanin reported to Yorktown Police that he had been driving around looking for the truck when he happened to spot it from the highway in a parking lot in Danbury. The truck would not have been visible in the Danbury parking lot to a driver passing by on the highway. Furthermore, historical cell site data for Anton Saljanin's cellphone contradicts his claims about the route he took to look for the truck.
Yorktown Police detectives examined the truck and found that a window had been broken. The detectives found broken glass on the scene in the Danbury parking lot but found no broken glass on the scene in the Yorktown Heights parking lot, suggesting that the window had been broken at the Danbury parking lot rather than at the Yorktown Heights parking lot.
During interviews with the Yorktown Police, Anton and Gjon Saljanin both falsely claimed that on the night of Jan. 15, 2014, they drove directly from a convenience store outside of Yorktown Heights to the Yorktown Heights parking lot.
Security camera footage from various locations in Yorktown Heights shows that a truck matching the description of the truck driven by the Saljanin brothers departed from their claimed route, and instead traveled in the direction of the residence of Ujka Vulaj, a longtime friend of Anton Saljanin. The video surveillance footage also shows that the duration of the detour corresponds to the approximate length of time it would have taken to drive to Vulaj’s residence, unload the computers from the truck, and return to the route to the Yorktown Heights parking lot.
From in or about January 2014 through at least in or about April 2014, Vulaj sold the stolen computers, some with the help of a co-worker, Carlos Caceres. They sold the computers, which had a retail value of approximately $1,000, for far below the market price. Vulaj and Caceres charged approximately $500 to $800 in cash for each computer, and handed over each computer in plain brown cardboard packaging.
Anton Saljanin pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft from an interstate shipment, interstate transportation of stolen property, and receipt, possession, and sale of stolen property, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; and one count of theft from an interstate shipment, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Gjon Saljanin pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft from an interstate shipment, interstate transportation of stolen property, and receipt, possession, and sale of stolen property, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
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