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Press Release

Miami Resident Sentenced To 57 Months In Prison For Participating In A Conspiracy To Burglarize A Kentucky Cigarette Warehouse

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

Ordered to pay $1,486,164.45 in restitution for theft of cigarettes from Leitchfield, Kentucky warehouse

OWENSBORO, KY – A Miami resident was sentenced this week in United States District Court by Chief Judge Joseph H. McKinley4 Jr., to 57 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $1,486,164.45 - for conspiracy and theft charges stemming from the defendant’s participation in a warehouse burglary in Leitchfield, Kentucky, announced United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.

Ivan Romero, a/k/a El Negro, 42, pleaded guilty to a two count federal indictment, in January of this year. Romero admitted that he and others stole more than a million dollars in cigarettes from the Coremark Cigarette Warehouse in Leitchfield, Kentucky, in March of 2011, and that he and others received the stolen cigarettes (which constitute an interstate and foreign shipment of property valued at over $1,000) with the intent to convert the property to their own use.

During the theft, Romero and his co-conspirators gained entry into the warehouse through the roof, disabled the alarm system and loaded the stolen goods into a stolen tractor trailer.  Specifically, between March 18, 2011, to March 20, 2011, defendant Camilo Rodriguez-Hernandez allegedly rented three hotel rooms in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, where the co-conspirators, who traveled to Kentucky from Miami, Florida, resided during the burglary and theft.   Between March 19, 2011, and March 20, 2011, Amuary Villa, Ivan Romero, Amed Villa, and other co-conspirators allegedly unloaded a stolen tractor trailer and loaded it with cigarettes. Defendant Romero admitted to providing transportation for the stolen cigarettes and driving them to the New Jersey/New York area. 

Romero, a legal permanent resident from Cuba who last resided in Miami, has been serving a state sentence from Florida, before being transferred to federal custody. Romero’s federal sentence is 11 months concurrent with a six year sentence for similar crimes in Florida. Further, Romero received 46 months to run consecutive to the six years he is serving in the state of Florida. Restitution will be paid to Coremark and the insurance company for Coremark. Co-defendants Amaury Villa and Camillo Rodriguez Hernandez have trials pending.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Judd and the investigation of the Kentucky theft is being led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) with assistance from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Leitchfield and Elizabethtown Police Departments, and New Jersey and Kentucky State Police Departments.

Updated April 20, 2016

Violent Crime