Three arrested on charges of participating in a cargo theft ring
Additional arrests anticipated as part of this multi-agency investigation
For Immediate Release
July 30, 2013
SEBRING, Fla. – A multi-agency investigation led by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sebring Field Office has resulted in charges against five individuals for their alleged involvement in a statewide organized cargo theft ring, with three of the five arrested to date. The investigation is ongoing and FDLE anticipates additional arrests.
Investigators believe the suspects committed dozens of cargo thefts in Florida stealing millions in products such as electronics, food, tires, clothing and pharmaceuticals. Suspects are charged with racketeering, conspiracy to commit RICO, grand theft over $100,000, cargo theft and burglary. During the investigation, law enforcement recovered six stolen semi-tractors and nine stolen semi-trailers, some of which still had the stolen merchandise inside. The suspects were found to have stash houses in Highlands and Hillsborough counties where stolen tractor trailers were taken to offload the cargo before being transported to Miami.
The joint investigation by FDLE, the Florida Commercial Vehicle and Cargo Theft Task Force, Florida Highway Patrol, CSX Railroad Police, Haines City Police Department, and sheriff’s offices from Polk County, Lake County, Lee County, Highlands County, Hernando County, Hillsborough County, Osceola County, Pasco County, Marion County and Jacksonville led to the arrests of the following individuals.
Iandy Jimenez, 34, 2304 West Highland Street, Lakeland, Fla., arrested May 10, 2013, in Polk County and booked into the Polk County Jail with bond set at $165,000.
Alexis Palau, 48, 16721 NW 79 Pl., Miami Lakes, Fla., arrested June 2, 2013, in New Mexico by US Customs’ officers and extradited to Polk County. He was booked into the Polk County Jail with bond set at $50,000.
Enrique Bernardez, 46, 4025 Hammock Place, Mulberry, Fla.,arrested June 30, 2013, in Osceola County and booked into the Polk County Jail with bond set at $215,000.
Two additional suspects have been charged, but not yet arrested. Anyone with information about this crime ring should contact FDLE Sebring Office at (863) 386-6085.
The investigation will be prosecuted by the Office of Statewide Prosecution in Orlando.
For Further Information Contact:
Gretl Plessinger, Linda McDonald or Steve Arthur
FDLE Office of Public Information