U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Louisiana
(318) 676-3641
September 9, 2015

Rayville Man Sentenced to More Than Nine Years in Prison for Stealing Motor Vehicles

MONROE, LA—United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a Rayville man was sentenced Tuesday to 110 months in prison for his role in a vehicle theft ring that stretched from Louisiana to Mississippi.

James Phillips, 63, of Rayville, La., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert G. James on one count of interstate transportation of stolen motor vehicles. He was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and pay $443,500 restitution. According to the May 13, 2015 guilty plea, Phillips was apprehended on August 16, 2013 driving a recently stolen vehicle. After further investigation, Phillips was identified as a leader of an organization involving several conspirators who stole and disposed of more than 30 tractors, trailers and other motor vehicles from Louisiana and Mississippi with a value in excess of $850,000.

The two co-defendants were sentenced on August 12, 2015. Otis Frankenll, 61, of Delhi, La., was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release on one count of interstate transportation of stolen motor vehicles. Gary Hunter, 54, of Greenville, Miss., was sentenced to five years of probation on one count of interstate transportation of stolen goods. They were also ordered to pay $120,100 restitution.

The charges were the result of a joint investigation between the FBI and the West Carroll Parish Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph G. Jarzabek prosecuted the case.

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