Cargo theft task force investigates, arrests suspected thieves

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | 7/31/2013

Police in Florida say a team of suspects worked together to steal dozens of loads of electronics, food, tires and pharmaceutical drugs.

The group took stolen trucks to stash houses in Highlands County and Hillsborough County before offloading the stolen goods and taking the cargo to Miami, according to a news release from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Law enforcement officers recovered six stolen trucks and nine trailers, including some with the loads still intact.

Those arrested include: Iandy Jimenez, 34, of Lakeland, Fla.; Alexis Palau, 48, of Miami Lakes, Fla.; Enrique Bernardez, 46, of Mulberry, Fla.; and two other suspects who have been charged but not yet arrested.

All five have been charged with racketeering, conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act or RICO Act, grant theft over $100,000, cargo theft, and burglary.

“The investigation is ongoing and the FDLE anticipates additional arrests,” the release said.

The investigation was conducted jointly by multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement;, the Florida Commercial Vehicle and Cargo Theft Task Force; the Florida Highway Patrol; CSX Railroad Police; Haines City Police Department; and sheriff’s offices from Polk County, Lake County, Lee County, Highlands County, Hernando County, Hillsborough County, Osceola County, Pasco County, Marion County and Jacksonville.

To anonymously report tips to the Florida Commercial Vehicle and Cargo Theft Task Force, click here.

According to, Friday, Saturday and Monday are the weekdays in which most cargo thefts are reported. California, Texas and Florida topped the list for states with the highest number of cargo theft incidents.

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