PROVIDENCE – An alleged leader of a series of schemes in several states to steal and sell nearly $700,000 worth of excavators, sport boats, jet skis, all-terrain vehicles, and trailers has been apprehended in Winter Park, Florida.
Jose A. Montes, aka Jose Rivera, aka “Tuto”, 36, of Cranston, indicted by a federal grand jury in Providence on November 20, 2020, on charges of interstate transportation of stolen property and conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property, was apprehended Wednesday without incident by members of a United States Marshals Service Task Force, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and United States Marshal Wing Chau.
Montes appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Orlando and was ordered detained while awaiting removal to Rhode Island.
It is alleged that members of the conspiracy, often times using rented and stolen trucks, hauled away the stolen excavators, boats, jet skis, ATVs, and trailers from businesses in South Kingstown and Tiverton, RI; Auburn, Rehoboth, and Easton, MA; Waterford, Vernon, and Stafford, CT; and Hampstead, NH. Many of the stolen items were stored in Providence, Johnston, Warwick, North Providence, Scituate, and Glocester, R.I. Several of the stolen items were hauled to Florida to be sold.
Two Bobcat excavators each valued at $60,000 and one valued at $75,000, were allegedly stolen from an Auburn, Mass., dealer between late Friday, April 10, 2020, and late Saturday April 11, 2020. Using GPS built into the equipment, the excavators were located on April 13, 2020, and recovered by law enforcement. Two of the excavators were discovered in Johnston. The third was found in North Providence. GPS data showed that two of the stolen machines were stored on a farm in North Scituate before being moved to Johnston. One of the excavators was brought briefly to a residence in Warwick.
GPS data showed that the third excavator was first taken to a location in Glocester then moved to North Providence, where it was located and seized by law enforcement.
An ATV stolen from a dealership in Hampstead, New Hampshire in July 2020 was discovered on Gallup Street in Providence and towed by police to an impound facility. The ATV was subsequently stolen again from the impound.
In addition to Jose Montes, named in the indictment are Krystal K. Disano, 26, of Sarasota, Florida; Sorina Cruz, 43, of Cranston; Daniel J. Guerriero, 34, of North Scituate; Ronald S. Mosca, 48, of Sarasota, Florida; Irvin W. McLaughlin, Jr., 40, of Connecticut; Efrain A. Lopez, 32, of Providence; Jared J. Santiago, 28, of Providence; and Luis M. Morales, 37, of Providence.
A federal indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William J. Ferland and Ly T. Chin.