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Four sentenced to prison for $1.7 million in cargo thefts

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Georgia authorities sentenced four men to prison for their role in a major cargo theft enterprise.

On June 26, 2024, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia announced that four men were sentenced to prison on conspiracy charges related to multiple cargo thefts in the Southeastern United States totaling more than $1.7 million.

Yunior Hernandez, 50, of Homestead, Florida, was sentenced to two years, nine months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $880,857.43 in restitution. 

Carlos Alberto Valdes, 55, of Hialeah, Florida, was sentenced to three years, 10 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay $1,543,890.60 in restitution.

Roberto Quesada Lopez, 44, of Hialeah, Florida, was sentenced to two years, six months in prison. He was ordered to pay $1,229,888.32 in restitution. 

Yubani Millares Vera, 49, of Hialeah, Florida, was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay at least $1,760,479.12 in restitution.

Authorities say that in 2019, the four men stole cargo in the Southeast, then took the goods to Florida to be sold.

The stolen cargo includes:

•$500,000 worth of computers in Macon, Georgia, on May 18, 2019

•$640,000 worth of computers meant for the Centers for Disease Control in Emerson, Georgia, on June 11, 2019

•$110,000 worth of copper in Denmark, Tennessee, on July 21, 2019

•$110,000 worth of copper in Glade Springs, Virginia, on September 2, 2019

•$110,000 worth of copper in Fairview, Tennessee, on October 6, 2019

•$340,000 worth of apparel in Kingsland, Georgia, on November 16, 2019

“Thefts of interstate shipments disrupt the production and delivery of needed goods and result in detrimental financial impact on businesses, consumers, and the U.S. economy generally,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “The sentencing of these defendants is an example of our office’s commitment to prosecute these criminals as well as a warning to others that these offenses are an investigative priority for our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners.”

“The FBI takes cargo theft very seriously, due to the significant impact it has on the United States economy, and the potential for stolen goods to be used to fund other criminal organizations,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “This theft conspiracy did not stop at our state border, and neither did our investigation. Thanks to our partnership with Miami agencies, we tracked these thieves across the entire southeast, and now they will be held accountable for their crimes.”

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