Skip to comments.FBI Arrests A Dozen In Cargo Theft Ring
Posted on 05/03/2012 1:10:18 PM PDT by AtlasStalled
The feds have busted a dozen individuals from South Florida for their alleged roles in a cargo theft ring which burglarized warehouses and stole truck loads across the United States which included a midnight heist of prescription drugs worth $70 million from an Eli Lilly building two years ago in Enfield, CT.
Among those arrested is accused ringleader Roberto Garcia-Amador as reported by CBS Miami: "sources described the gang as highly sophisticated and not only responsible for stealing millions from pharmaceutical companies in Connecticut, Virginia and New Jersey, but also hijacking trucks and stealing $20 million in cigarettes, liquor and cell phones."
The feds also arrested Cuban brothes Amaury and Armed Villa as reported by The Associated Press: "a water bottle one of the brothers left behind at the scene" -- d'oh! -- "apparently helped lead officials to the brothers, U.S. Attorney David Fein said during a news conference."
The FBI reports that cargo thefts ring up as much as $30 billion in losses each year.
Most cargo thefts are investigated by local police who lack the skills or resources to target the sophisticated operations, and district attorneys are reluctant to prosecute the crimes because of the light sentences upon convictions as reported by Daniel Grushkin for Businessweek. Accordingly, organized crime has locked upon this low-risk, high-profit racket like a pitbull on a steak: nearly half of all cargo thefts are committed by organized specialists, and a number of these . . . are carried out by a syndicate based in South Florida, many of them Cuban.
Often a cargo theft is as simple as a fraudulent pickup which is described by the National Insurance Crime Bureau in its 2010 National Cargo Theft Report: a driver or trucking company (often accessing cargo load information through online brokering sites) impersonates a legitimate carrier and secures a contract to transport cargo. The cargo is then stolen, often with no trace of the fraudulent driver or trucking company.
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