Three Florida men have been charged in connection with a multi-million dollar cargo theft operation targeting meat packing plants in the midwest.

In late June 2022, the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) began investigating the theft of several semi trailers and loads of frozen beef in Lancaster County, Nebraska, with a total loss of about $1 million.

As police expanded the investigation with help from Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) Omaha, they identified approximately 45 similar cargo thefts that occurred across Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, since June 2021, totaling $9 million in loss.

Investigators determined that the group behind the cargo thefts was a “highly sophisticated organized criminal enterprise” targeting beef and pork packaging plants throughout the midwest.

On October 20, Miami residents Yoslany Leyva Del Sol, Ledier Machin Andino, and Delvis L. Fuentes were arrested by HSI Omaha, LCSO, and the Florida Highway Patrol, assisted by HSI Miami. Each of the suspects held a valid Class A CDL, according to The Globe.

At the time of the arrest, police were able to recover three trailers loaded with stolen merchandise valued at $550,000.

The three men were charged with money laundering and transportation of stolen goods.

The investigation is ongoing.

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