4 Florida men get prison terms for $1.7 million worth of cargo thefts

Updated Jul 14, 2024
Hand on prison bars

Four Florida men were recently sentenced to prison terms for their roles in the theft of over $1.7 million of cargo including computers, copper and clothing in 2019.

Yunior Hernandez a/k/a “Yunior Hernandez Guzman,” Roberto Quesada Lopez, Carlos Alberto Valdes, and Yubani Millares Vera have been sentenced to prison for multiple cargo thefts throughout the Southeastern U.S.

According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented in court: Throughout 2019, the defendant operated a cargo theft ring throughout the Southeastern U.S. The stolen goods were then taken to Florida and sold. 

The defendants stole over:

  • $500,000 worth of computers in Macon, Georgia, on May 18, 2019
  • $640,000 worth of computers meant for the Centers for Disease Control in Emerson, Georgia, on June 11, 2019
  • $110,000 worth of copper in Denmark, Tennessee, on July 21, 2019
  • $110,000 worth of copper in Glade Springs, Virginia, on Sept. 2, 2019
  • $110,000 worth of copper in Fairview, Tennessee, on Oct. 6, 2019
  • $340,000 worth of apparel in Kingsland, Georgia, on Nov. 16, 2019

Hernandez, 50, of Homestead, Florida, was sentenced to two years, nine months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $880,857.43 in restitution. Hernandez was convicted of conspiracy on Dec. 20, 2022, after he pleaded guilty.

Valdes, 55, of Hialeah, Florida, was sentenced to three years, 10 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay $1,543,890.60 in restitution. Valdes was convicted of conspiracy on Jan.19, 2023, after he pleaded guilty.

Lopez, 44, of Hialeah, Florida, was sentenced to two years, six months in prison. He was ordered to pay $1,229,888.32 in restitution. Lopez was convicted of conspiracy on July 18, 2023, after he pleaded guilty.

Vera, 49, of Hialeah, Florida, was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay at least $1,760,479.12 in restitution. Millares Vera was convicted of conspiracy on March 14, 2024, after he pleaded guilty.

“Thefts of interstate shipments disrupt the production and delivery of needed goods and result in detrimental financial impact on businesses, consumers, and the U.S. economy generally,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “The sentencing of these defendants is an example of our office’s commitment to prosecute these criminals as well as a warning to others that these offenses are an investigative priority for our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners.”

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“The FBI takes cargo theft very seriously, due to the significant impact it has on the United States economy, and the potential for stolen goods to be used to fund other criminal organizations,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “This theft conspiracy did not stop at our state border, and neither did our investigation. Thanks to our partnership with Miami agencies, we tracked these thieves across the entire southeast, and now they will be held accountable for their crimes.”