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Press Release

Four Guatemalan Nationals Charged in Large-Scale Retail Theft Schemes in Multiple States

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

PROVIDENCE, RI – Four Guatemalan nationals have been charged in federal court in Providence, RI, with conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property and interstate transportation of stolen goods, having allegedly participated, with others, in a large-scale scheme to steal and re-sell high-value products from home improvement stores and other retailers in multiple states, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

Court documents allege that Marvin Estuardo Morales De Paz, 33, Abraham Dayger-Enrique, 24, Sebastian Lajuj-Soloman, 30, and Jonathan Josue Amperez-Perez, 31, worked together and with others to defraud Home Depot stores mainly in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania by stealing and, at times, re-selling stolen goods such as electrical wire, flooring, power tools, and other items of high value.

Based on information from multiple police departments, a review of security camera footage from numerous retailers, and as well as the court-authorized seizure and review of cellphones seized from Morales DePaz, Dayger-Enrique, and Amperez-Perez, it is alleged that the four men and other co-conspirators have participated in more than 30 documented thefts. To date, based on arrests and law enforcement encounters during retail theft incidents, fifteen Guatemalan nationals have been identified as allegedly being associated with this retail theft organization. However, it is believed that not all members of the group regularly participate in these theft operations.

Court-authorized search warrants were executed on April 12, 2024, at residences in Cranston and Providence, resulting in the seizure of $11,000 worth of stolen goods from Home Depot and Khols; $83,000 in cash; and a Ford 2019 F150 vehicle.

Morales De Paz, Dayger-Enrique, and Lajuj-Soloman were arrested in Rhode Island on Friday and were ordered detained in federal custody at their initial appearances before a District Court Magistrate Judge; Amperez-Perez was apprehended in Pennsylvania and remains in federal custody awaiting a return to Rhode Island.

A federal criminal complaint is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John P. McAdams.

The matter is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations agents in Providence, with the assistance of HSI agents in Boston, and Allentown, Pennsylvania, and the Providence, Coventry, Warwick, Smithfield, and Johnston, RI Police Departments; Boston, Norwood, Bellingham, Marlboro, Seekonk, Avon, Auburn, MA Police Departments; Montville and Fairfield, CT Police Departments; and the Parkesburg, Downingtown, Lebanon, Wyomissing, and Reading, PA, Police Departments; Nashua, NH Police Department; and Marlboro, NJ Police Department.

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Contact

Jim Martin

(401) 709-5357

Updated April 15, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-39