Florida Men Charged Federally In Meat Theft Scam
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that Jose Gonzalo-Paulette and Guillermo Riol, both of Miami, Florida, have been charged for their alleged involvement in a scheme to steal over $330,000 worth of meat products from meat processing facilities in Omaha, Nebraska. Gonzalo-Paulette, age 25, and Riol, age 39, were indicted in May of 2014 by a federal grand jury for their alleged involvement in a scheme with others to steal loads of meat cargo by pretending to be the legitimate freight haulers to whom authority to transport the loads had been given. The indictment charges the defendants with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to transport stolen property in interstate commerce and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
The Indictment alleges that the two used the identities of truck drivers from Pennsylvania and posed as representatives of a legitimate trucking company to bid on hauling a load of beef product from Nebraska Beef to a destination in New York and a load of pork product from Quality Pork International to a destination in Texas. While posing as representatives of U.S. Road Corporation, Gonzalo-Paulette and Riol were provided two loads of beef from Nebraska Beef valued at $308,797 and a load of pork from Quality Pork International valued at approximately $25,000. The loads of meat picked up by Gonzalo-Paulette and Riol never made it to their intended destinations in New York and Texas and were never located.
Both defendants were arrested in Florida and are scheduled to make their initial appearances in U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska on July 3, 2014.
Each defendant faces a maximum of up to 20 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 5 years if convicted of conspiracy to transport stolen property in interstate commerce as well as a mandatory two years consecutive for each of the aggravated identity theft counts.
The case was investigated by U.S. Department of Agriculture - Office of Inspector General, the Miami Metropolitan Major Theft Task Force, the Polk County Florida Sheriff's Office, the Nebraska State Patrol, and the Omaha Police Department.