Two Men Arrested on Charges of Participating in a Cargo Theft Ring
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 28, 2014|
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and Ric L. Bradshaw, Sheriff, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, announce the arrests of Eliesky Sanchez, 31, and Reinaldo Garcia Suarez, 39, both of West Palm Beach. The defendants were charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to receive goods stolen from an interstate or foreign shipment, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 659, and sale or receipt of stolen property, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2315, all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.
The defendants made their initial appearances today at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Lee Brannon. A pre-trial detention hearing for Sanchez has been scheduled for March 5, 2014. A pre-trial detention hearing for Garcia Suarez has been scheduled for March 7, 2014.
According to the criminal complaint, the investigation revealed that Eliesky Sanchez and Reinaldo Garcia Suarez were actively selling and providing as samples property which bore identifying numbers that matched the identifying numbers on the products stolen from different tractor trailer thefts. Items sold and/or provided as samples included, but were not limited to, liquid crystal display vehicle monitors, Invicta wrist watches, Ralph Lauren clothing items, Proctor & Gamble products, and Nestle brand products.
According to the criminal complaint, on February 25, 2014, a confidential informant (CI) met with the defendants at the Extra Space Storage facility located in Palm Springs. During their meeting, the defendants opened the storage units and showed the CI pallets of merchandise inside of each unit. During this time, the CI had an empty trailer dropped off at this location as part of his undercover role. The CI discussed with the defendants filling the trailer with merchandise which the CI would purchase on February 27, 2014, and then ship to Brazil. As part of these arrangements, the CI agreed to purchase approximately three 53-foot trailer loads of merchandise from the defendants over the course of a few days.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum of five years in prison on the conspiracy charge.
Mr. Ferrer commended investigative efforts of the FBI and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. This case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney William T. Zloch.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls.