The California Highway Patrol (CHP) recently charged dozens of people in connection with a large-scale cargo theft scheme following a year-long investigation.
On May 5, officials announced that CHP’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force (ORCTF) and CHP’s Cargo Theft Interdiction Program conducted a statewide enforcement operation called “Operation Overloaded” targeting individuals taking part in a cargo theft scheme believed to be responsible for $150 million in stolen goods from more than 200 cargo loads.
As part of the operation, CHP arrested 40 people and recovered over $50 million in stolen merchandise and 20 stolen cargo trailers. CHP also seized several vehicles, multiple firearms, including ghost guns, over $550,000, and 13 gold bars.
CHP says that the suspects involved are facing several felony charges involving conspiracy to commit grand theft, grand theft of cargo, vehicle theft, and identity theft.
The investigation began in March 2022 and involved “50 targeted operations involving multiple surveillance teams, undercover officers, arrests, and the authoring and serving of several search warrants.”
“This large-scale enforcement operation is part of CHP’s everyday work to keep our residents, communities, and businesses safe. I’m grateful for all the men and women who helped shut down this criminal operation and get dangerous firearms and stolen merchandise off our streets,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom.
“This team has worked tirelessly to unravel this complex case. I continue to be impressed by the dedication and commitment put forth daily by our officers and investigators. Their efforts help make California a safer place to live and work,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee.
CHP says that more arrests are expected in connection with the cargo theft operation.