NINE INDICTED IN $1.9 MILLION THEFT OF LAPTOP COMPUTERS
Former Hialeah Gardens Police Officer Among Those Charged
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gilles, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce the indictment of nine defendants for their participation in the theft of 5,250 Toshiba laptop computers, valued at approximately $1.9 million, which were being shipped from Forest Park, Georgia, to Miami, Florida, in July 2010.
Charged in the four-count indictment are Jose S. Garcia, 37, of Miami, Jose Ramon Garcia, 57, of Miami, Jorge Raul Romero, 42, of Hialeah, Ulises Torres Creagh, 36, of Miami,Ramon Concepcion, 31, of Hialeah, Erving Enrique Ortega, 33, of Miami, and Edwin Antonio Ortega, 30, of Miami. Also charged were Alexeis Jimenez-Gonzalez, 42, of Homestead, and Edilberto R. Fernandez, 48, of Hialeah, who remain at large.
Specifically, Count 1 of the indictment charges all the defendants with conspiring to receive and possess goods valued at more than $5,000, which have crossed state lines after having been stolen, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2315, and conspiring to commit cargo theft of goods valued at $1,000 or more, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 659, all in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. Count 2 charges the defendants with receiving and possessing stolen goods, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2315. Count 3 charges the defendants with committing cargo theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 659. Finally, Count 4 charges defendant Jorge Raul Romero, a thirteen-year veteran of the Hialeah Gardens Police Department, with obstructing justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b)(3).
According to the indictment, from July 7 through July 12, 2010, the defendants conspired to enrich themselves by stealing 5,250 Toshiba laptop computers valued at more than $1.9 million, and then reselling these goods for profit. During this time, the defendants unloaded and stored the stolen laptop computers at warehouses that belonged to Leading Edge Custom and Illusion Auto Design in Hialeah Gardens, Florida. Thereafter, the defendants, among other things, stored, concealed, transferred, and sold the stolen laptop computers. Additionally, defendant Romero is alleged to have made misleading statements related to this investigation.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI’s Cargo Theft Task Force in Miami. Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI thank the Hialeah Gardens Police Department for their full cooperation throughout this investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamie M. McCall and Karen Gilbert.
An indictment is only an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.