Five arrested in $100,000 Tampa Bay theft ring

TAMPA, Fla. - The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center, in partnership with the Hillsborough and Manatee County Sheriff’s Offices, yesterday arrested five individuals on charges of violating Florida’s Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) laws, conspiracy to commit RICO, grand theft and burglary.  Investigators believe the group operated an organized criminal enterprise that stole diesel fuel and gasoline from Florida farms, ranches and businesses. The stolen fuel was then sold to commercial truck drivers, commercial transport businesses or to private citizens in the Tampa Bay area.

The following individuals were arrested:
·         Yasmani Cruz Hernandez, 26, 8521 North Blvd., Tampa, Fla., booked into the Hillsborough County Jail;
·         Yuniel Benet Doval, 26, currently incarcerated in the Manatee County Jail;
·         Yosvani Alvarez Guzman, 31, 8521 North Blvd., Tampa, Fla., booked into the Hillsborough County Jail;
·         Mario Capote, 36, 4725 Christa Ct. #328, Tampa, Fla., booked into the Manatee County Jail; and
·         Yaima De Las Mercedes Suarez, 22, 8521 North Blvd., Tampa, Fla., booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.
These arrests are the result of a joint investigation by FDLE and the Hillsborough and Manatee County Sheriff’s Offices that began in July 2013.  The group is also believed to be involved in the theft of watercraft vehicles, motor vehicles and motorcycles and operating a counterfeit credit card operation to purchase items from businesses in the Tampa Bay area. 
"I applaud the law enforcement efforts to stop this criminal enterprise from stealing from Florida's hardworking farmers, ranchers, and businesses," stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. "My Office of Statewide Prosecution will aggressively prosecute these individuals for their alleged involvement."
“The FDLE partnership with the Tampa Bay area sheriffs is resulting in quality cases like this one,” said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey.  “My appreciation to all who helped dismantle this operation.”
“This investigation was initiated as a result of the arrested subjects preying on our local farmers and stealing diesel fuel which they utilized to operate their farms,” said Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee.  “The stolen diesel fuel was resold to commercial businesses.  Due to the various jurisdictions, the Sheriff's Office partnered with FDLE and the Manatee County Sheriff's Office to identify and arrest members of this criminal organization. We hope these arrests provide relief to the hard working citizens of Hillsborough and Manatee counties.”
“It is obvious that criminals do not stop at the county line,” said Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube.  “These arrests are the result of our agencies working together and sharing information on a crime that has plagued our communities for quite some time.”   
This case will be prosecuted by Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.  Additional arrests are expected. 
For Further Information Contact:
Gretl Plessinger, Samantha Andrews or Steve Arthur
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001

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