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Press Release

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Four in Alleged Multi-State Burglary Ring Targeting Primarily Individuals of Asian Descent

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

PROVIDENCE, RI – A federal grand jury has indicted four individuals for their alleged roles in a sweeping, multi-state burglary ring that primarily targeted residents of Asian descent, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

The indictment alleges that members of the conspiracy: Mohammed Islam, 29, of Stamford, CT; Jorge Andres Cardenas Murillo, 30, of College Point, NY; Yoel Andres Barrera Garrido, 20, of Woodside, NY; and Tania Valentina Espitia Cuellar, 24, address presently unknown, collectively identified and surveilled individuals, typically of Asian descent at the victim’s residences and businesses, which included Asian restaurants and nail salons, and then executed well-planned burglaries at homes in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Wisconsin, and Florida, typically targeting large sums of money, jewelry, credit and debit cards, and other valuable items.

It is alleged that in one such burglary, members of the conspiracy burglarized a home in Jacksonville, FL, and stole approximately $500,000 worth of property and cash, as well as numerous debit and credit cards.

As alleged in charging documents, members of the conspiracy used sophisticated means to carry out their scheme.  In addition to surveilling individuals, the conspirators are alleged to have used drones and GPS trackers placed on vehicles to monitor victim’s movement and identify times when they were away from their residences. They are also alleged to have used drones and lookouts to monitor law enforcement activity, and to have had a getaway car and driver at the ready while other conspirators broke into and burglarized the residences.

Mohammed Islam, Jorge Andres Cardenas Murillo, Yoel Andres Barrera Garrido, and Tania Valentina Espitia Cuellar are each charged by way of indictment with conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property. Islam, Cardenas Murillo, and Barrera Garrido are also charged with two counts of attempt to commit interstate transportation of stolen property, and Islam is charged with a fourth count of interstate transportation of property taken by fraud. A federal indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ly T. Chin and Julianne L. Klein.

The matter was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, with the assistance of the Warwick and Smithfield, RI Police Departments; Shrewsbury and Framingham, MA Police Departments; Gorham, NH Police Department; Stamford, Wallingford, and Westport, CT Police Departments; West Allis, WI Police Department; New Castle County, DE Police Department; Manalapan, NJ Police Department; New York City Police Department; Jacksonville and Flagler County Police Departments; Massachusetts State Police; Pennsylvania State Police; and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

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Contact

Jim Martin

(401) 709-5357

Updated December 18, 2023

Press Release Number: 23-127