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Two Louisville Residents Sentenced to 23 Months for Conspiracy and Unlawful Possession of Stolen Property

U.S. Attorney’s Office August 20, 2010
  • Eastern District of Kentucky (859) 233-2661

LEXINGTON, KY—Juan D. Perez-Gonzales, 36, and Mijail Zerquera, 38, both of Louisville, Kentucky, were sentenced today to 23 months in prison for conspiracy and unlawful possession of stolen property by United States District Court Judge Karen K. Caldwell.

In December of 2009, Perez-Gonzales and Zerquera both pleaded guilty to the charges. Both men admitted in their plea agreements that they, along with Vladimir Naranjo-Nieto, 36, Efren Rodriguez-Hernandez, 32, and Michael Prieto-Cruz, 28, each of Louisville, stole two trailer loads of liquor from the L.J. Rogers Trucking Company in Jeffersonville, Indiana, during the early morning hours of September 19, 2009. One trailer contained products from Jim Beam Brands, in Frankfort, Kentucky, and the other contained products from Brown Forman, in Louisville, Kentucky. The cargoes were consigned to L.J. Rogers Trucking Company for shipment to distributors in North Carolina and Kansas. The combined value of both of the trailers of liquor totaled approximately $425,000.

Both Perez-Gonzales and Zerquera also admitted that they and the other men took the trailers from the L.J. Rogers Trucking yard into Louisville. Once in Louisville, the men attempted to conceal the L.J. Rogers Trucking logos on the trailers by covering them with white paint. The men also prepared false bills of lading for the stolen liquor, and prepared to transport the stolen liquor to New York state for resale.

Perez-Gonzales and Zerquera admitted that on September 20, 2009, they each drove a truck with a stolen trailer of liquor from Louisville into the Eastern District of Kentucky.

The other men, Naranjo-Nieto, Rodriguez-Hernandez, and Prieto-Cruz, accompanied the men on the trip in a separate car driven by Prieto-Cruz. The five men were in telephone contact during the trip.

Eventually, Perez-Gonzales and Zerquera were apprehended by law enforcement at a truck stop in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. Both Perez- Gonzales and Zerquera were found in possession of the trailers containing the stolen liquor. The trailers containing the stolen liquor were identifiable because the white paint applied by the men failed to conceal the L.J. Rogers Trucking Company logos.

Under federal law, Perez-Gonzales and Zerquera must each serve 85 percent of his prison sentence, and, upon release, will be under the supervision of the United States Probation Office for three years.

Naranjo-Nieto, Rodriguez-Hernandez, and Prieto-Cruz have each pleaded guilty for their roles in the conspiracy, and for aiding and abetting the possession of stolen property by Perez-Gonzales and Zerquera. Sentencing for these men is scheduled for December 1, 2010, in Lexington. These men face a maximum potential sentence of 10 years' imprisonment.

Kerry B. Harvey, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Michael Welch, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Indianapolis, Indiana, Field Office, Elizabeth Fries, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Louisville Field Office, and Rodney Brewer, Commissioner, Kentucky State Police (KSP), jointly made the announcement today after the sentencing.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI in New Albany, Indiana, FBI Criminal Enterprise Task Force based in Kentucky, and the Kentucky State Police. The United States was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Robert M. Duncan, Jr.