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20 Indicted In Alleged Smartphone Theft Ring

Man using a smartphone
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Minnesota have indicted 20 people in what they say is a takedown of a large smartphone theft ring.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says the operation bought stolen cellphones and resold them throughout the U.S. and internationally.

The indictment accuses Jamal Talal Mustafa of leading the ring. It says he and other owners of cellphone stores bought phones they knew had been stolen or acquired through fraudulent signups with carriers.

Court documents say 11 suspects were “runners” who obtained phones from Arizona, Idaho, North Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and Utah.

The 42-year-old Mustafa of Apple Valley was represented Tuesday by public defender Reggie Aligada. Aligada declined to comment because Mustafa is expected to have a different lawyer for future proceedings. No home listing for Mustafa could be found.

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