Four men are facing up to a decade in federal prison after admitting to their role in a tequila cargo theft ring.
On Thursday, October 29, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Middle District of Florida announced that Lemuel Escobar 37, Humberto Ramirez, 39, Alberto Obaya, 48, and Vidal Estrada, 68 pleaded guilty to charges related to the cargo theft of an interstate shipment of goods, and receipt and possession of stolen goods.
The tequila heist took place on December 30, 2018, at the Tampa Truck Stop off of Highway 301 in Tampa, Florida when a truck driver hauling 966 cases of Patron tequila stopped off for dinner.
Around 11 p.m., the truck driver realized that his trailer — and all of the tequila — were missing.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office started searching for the trailer and around 12:30 a.m. tracked it down to the intersection of Ike Smith Road and McIntosh Road, where they observed four men loading boxes of tequila from the trailer into a box truck that was registered to Escobar.
All four men fled when they were confronted by police but were soon located and arrested.
Police were able to recover the stolen shipment of tequila valued at $507,105
The investigation was aided by the F.B.I.’s Cargo Theft Task Force.
No sentencing date has been set. The four men face up to 10 years in federal prison.
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