TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced the arrests of five Miami-Dade County residents in connection to an organized cargo theft ring. The arrests are the result of an investigation by Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, with the assistance of the Miami-Dade Police Department, Miami Metropolitan Major Theft Task Force and the Florida Highway Patrol Commercial Vehicle and Cargo Theft Task Force.
According to the investigation, the defendants typically traveled from Miami-Dade County in a rental vehicle to search for tractor trailers they could easily steal. Once the defendants stole both the cargo and trailers, they returned to Miami to sell the stolen property on the black market.
The five members of this theft ring face charges related to seven different cargo theft incidents in Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Orange, Palm Beach and Polk Counties. The estimated loss of stolen property amounts to more than a million dollars.
Authorities arrested the following defendants in connection to this organized theft ring:
Juan Carlos Almaguer, 42;
Alcide Frahuela Casanova, 56;
Cecilio Guillen, 45;
Yanier Torres, 30; and
Julio Vega, 53.
Each defendant faces charges including, but not limited to, conspiracy to commit racketeering and multiple counts of grand theft cargo $50,000 or more, both first-degree felonies. If convicted, the defendants each face up to 30 years in prison per count of conspiracy to commit racketeering and grand theft cargo $50,000 or more. Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute the defendants.
The Florida Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution prosecutes multi-circuit organized crime while working regularly with federal and state counterparts to coordinate efforts against criminal activity. The office provides proactive partnership to law enforcement and is not limited to geographic or judicial boundaries. # # #