Skip to main content
Press Release

Delaware Men Charged in $440,000+ Car Battery Heist

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Delaware

WILMINGTON, Del. - Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that an Indictment was unsealed today, charging Ishmael Rodriquez, age 30, of Wilmington, Delaware, with wire fraud, and conspiracy.  The Indictment also charges Christopher Ross, age 47, of Seaford, Delaware with wire fraud, conspiracy, interstate transportation of stolen property, and money laundering.  Both men face up to 20 years in prison on the wire fraud and conspiracy charges, in addition to possible fines and restitution.  Ross faces up to 10 years on the remaining counts. 

The Indictment alleges that, from April through October 2014, Rodriquez, Ross, and others, conspired with one another to devise a fraudulent scheme involving the delivery of stolen automobile batteries to local recycling businesses.  It is alleged that the two men used rental trucks to remove thousands of used automobile batteries from the warehouse of a trucking company in Middletown, Delaware.  It is further alleged that they delivered the used batteries to recycling businesses in Delaware and Maryland, in exchange for at least $449,000, in cash and checks.

According to the Indictment, Ross transported thousands of pounds of stolen batteries across state lines, to a recycling business in Maryland.  It is specifically alleged that he transported more than 24,000 pounds of batteries to Maryland on October 8, 2014, in exchange for payment of $6,960 in cash.  It is alleged that he transported more than 34,000 pounds of batteries to Maryland October 15, 2014, for payment of $22,011 in cash; and he transported more than 38,000 pounds of batteries to Maryland October 16, 2014, for payment of $10,685 in cash.  The Indictment alleges that Ross used $20,200 in cash proceeds to purchase a commercial tractor trailer from a dealership in New Castle, Delaware.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service.

The charges in the Indictment are only allegations.  The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated January 11, 2016

Financial Fraud