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Convicted New Jersey Carjacker Detained By Feds At St. Thomas Airport: VIPD

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A New Jersey man who was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2017 for being the “ringleader” of a “major international carjacking and stolen car trafficking ring” was detained at the St. Thomas airport on Monday morning, authorities said.

NJ Mugshot of Kyle W. Champagnie

Kyle W. Champagnie, 34, of Hillside, NJ was arrested at 10:48 a.m. Monday and charged with being a fugitive from justice, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents held Champagnie at the Cyril E. King Airport after it was discovered that he was wanted in New Jersey on a parole violation warrant, according to the VIPD.

“VIPD detectives picked up Champagnie and remanded him to the Bureau of Corrections, pending his Extradition hearing,” VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said.

Champagnie, formerly of Irvington NJ, was convicted four years ago for his role in a ring that stole high-end cars in New Jersey and New York and shipped them to West Africa, according to New Jersey Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino.

“This guy and his girlfriend skipped out on their tab the other day and I had to go track them down, all on tape,” Keith Sudziarski said on Facebook from St. Thomas. “Same guy:) I did find them though down the street.”

All individuals listed as arrested or charged with a crime in this report are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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