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A top member of a criminal ring that carjacked $8 million in luxury vehicles in New Jersey and New York to ship for sale in West Africa has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Saladine Grant, 43, of Irvington, will have to spend at least four years in prison before becoming eligible for parole, the New Jersey Attorney General's Office said Thursday.

The thieves targeted high-end cars, particularly SUVs made by Land Rover, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Honda, Porsche, Jaguar and Aston Martin.

Many of the carjackers targeted people by bumping them from behind on highways, causing minor accidents and then carjacking the vehicles when the victim pulled over.

Thefts also commonly occurred at airports and car washes while the vehicles were running. Thieves would also rob valets, authorities said.

The cars were brought to ports and then transported overseas, where they commanded high prices. 

Grant was one of 26 people charged in 2014. About 140 of the 160 vehicles were recovered.

Eighteen of those charged have been convicted and are either serving prison terms or await sentencing. 

The ring operated in multiple counties in New Jersey, including Essex, Union, Morris, Monmouth, Middlesex, Bergen and Somerset.

Grant pleaded guilty to financial facilitation of criminal activity earlier this year. 

"Grant was a top member of this dangerous crime ring, whose members routinely conducted armed carjackings to obtain the high-end cars they prized," Attorney General Chris Porrino said in a statement. "By putting Grant and his co-conspirators in prison, we've ended their reign of terror and, in all likelihood, saved lives." 

In 2009, Grant was sentenced to nine years in prison for running an auto theft ring. Grant was previously jailed from April 2003 to January 2005 on theft charges.

Jeff Goldman may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find on Facebook.