Three Miami Men Sentenced for Nationwide Copper Thefts
Defendants Were Responsible for Commodity Thefts in Georgia, Texas,
South Carolina and New York
ATLANTA, GA - JACINTO DIAZ, a/k/a “Pachi,” 46, of Miami, Florida, HENRY DIAZ, 27, of Miami, Florida, and MARIO BARAS GONZALEZ, 48, of Miami Beach, Florida, were sentenced today by United States District Judge Sterling Johnson to federal prison on charges of transporting stolen copper across state lines.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “With its high scrap value, copper has become one of the most frequently stolen commodities, with the numbers of victims growing every day. Copper thefts are all too familiar in many distressed neighborhoods, often directly taken from houses and businesses where people live and work. Criminals have not only stolen it in bulk from warehouses, but have stripped it from residential air conditioning units and electric panels used to light a high school's football field. Citizens need to take extra precautions to make sure that copper items in their homes and businesses are secured from theft.”
“The theft of copper is a growing threat with real impact to our communities, resulting in darkened streets, parks and sports fields,” said Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Georgia and the Carolinas. “By working with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Carrollton Police Department, we are proud to have helped bring the perpetrators to justice.”
JACINTO DIAZ was sentenced to 4 years, 3 months in prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $826,499.
HENRY DIAZ was sentenced to 3 years, 10 months in prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $826,499.
MARIO BARAS GONZALEZ was sentenced to 3 years, 5 months in prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $785,326.
The three defendants pleaded guilty to the charges on September 28, 2011. Two additional co-defendants in the scheme, ANTHONY FOUBELO, 32, of Miami, Florida, and JESUS RAMIREZ, 27, of Homestead, Florida, also have pleaded guilty and are scheduled to be sentenced on January 26, 2012.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: Around April 29, 2010, JACINTO DIAZ and HENRY DIAZ, who are father and son, directed co-conspirators GONZALEZ, RAMIREZ and FOUBELO to pose as truck drivers working on behalf of a legitimate shipping company. GONZALEZ, RAMIREZ and FOUBELO then picked up approximately 129,000 pounds (about $457,000 worth) of copper wire from Southwire Company in Carrollton, Georgia, purportedly to deliver the copper wire to various destinations in Indiana as instructed by the Southwire Company.
Instead, the defendants stole the copper wire from Southwire and transported it across state lines into Florida, where it was sold. The copper wire theft from Southwire was similar to other thefts committed by this ring of co-defendants in Texas, New York, Florida and South Carolina between March and September 2010.
This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Department of Homeland Security, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Carrollton Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorney Steven D. Grimberg and Special United States Attorney Laurel R. Boatright prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.