Local Man Charged with Interstate Transportation of Vehicle Stolen from Murdered New Orleans-Area Couple
Frank Mike, Jr., age 45, of New Orleans, was indicted today by a federal grand jury and charged with interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr.
According to the indictment, Mike transported a stolen 2010 Dodge Caravan from the state of Louisiana to the state of Georgia. A criminal complaint filed earlier this week stated that on February 19, 2014, family members reported to the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Department that Kenneth and Lakeitha Joseph of Reserve, Louisiana, were missing. A relative also indicated that she loaned her 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan to the Josephs but that the van had not been returned. On February 27, 2014, the missing 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan was recovered by the Fulton County Police Department in College Park, Georgia, in an apartment complex. Later, video surveillance showed that the van had been parked at the Travelodge Hotel located in College Park. It also showed that Mike drove the van into the hotel parking lot on February 21, 2014.
On March 10, 2014, the New Orleans Police Department discovered the body of Lakeitha Joseph, bound with rope, in the Intercoastal Waterway in New Orleans East. On March 22, 2014, the New Orleans Police Department discovered the body of Kenneth Joseph, also bound with rope, in the Intercoastal Waterway. The New Orleans Parish Coroner ruled the cause of death in both cases as drowning. Later, forensic testing revealed that blood samples taken from the stolen van matched the DNA of both Josephs.
The defendant appeared on the complaint before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Wells Roby on April 22, 2014. The following day, April 23, 2014, Judge Roby ordered the defendant detained without bond pending the resolution of this charge.
Mike faces a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 for this charge.
United States Attorney Polite reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case has been investigated jointly by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, the New Orleans Police Department, the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Fulton County, Georgia Police Department, the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, and the St. John the Baptist Parish District Attorney’s Office and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Michael Redmann, who is assigned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office from the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office and Assistant United States Attorney Mark Miller.