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2 men charged with conspiring to steal Volkswagen, Audi vehicles from old Pontiac Silverdome lot

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Posted at 4:22 PM, Mar 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-11 17:39:50-04

PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) — In an investigation led by the Oakland County Sheriff's Office Auto Theft unit, two men have been charged with conspiring to steal Volkswagen and Audi vehicles from the parking lot of the former Pontiac Silverdome, according to U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider.

“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."

The charges against Romane Porter, 42, of Farmington Hills, and Daniel Onorati, 41, of Eastpointe, were announced Monday.

According to a release, between March 2017 and September 2017, Porter and Onorati, along with the help of others, stole 61 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles that were parked in the lot of the old Pontiac Silverdome. The men then stored and sold, or attempted to sell, many of the stolen vehicles. Of the 61 vehicles stolen, the indictment alleges that 46 were taken out of the state of Michigan.

Onorati has been arraigned on charges in federal court and released on an unsecured bond. Porter will be arraigned on April 12.

If convicted on the charge of selling or being in possession of a stolen vehicle, the defendants each face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. If convicted on the charge of conspiracy, the men face a maximum sentence of no more than five years in prison and a fine of no more than $250,000.