Three Miami-Dade County men stole more than a million dollars in seafood from a Fort Lauderdale company by pretending to be A buyer for a supermarket, according to Florida officials.
Broward County Court records show that René Hechevarria Acmond, 33, Ernesto Aguilera Bouté, 36, and Jose Luis Batista Suárez, 40, now have seven counts of grand theft cargo of more than $50,000 and assets of more than $5,000. facing seven cases of receiving.
Information on jail, bond and lawyer was not available on Sunday afternoon.
The $1.3 million theft began in late June when a man who identified himself as Brian Gomez bought seafood from Fort Lauderdale-based food importer Netuno on behalf of a supermarket, according to his arrest report. Florida Highway Patrol investigators said on the report that orders were placed on June 21, June 30, July 14, July 27 and July 29.
FHP reported that after each purchase order, Gomez was asked to deliver a load of seafood to a warehouse in downtown Medley, Miami-Dade. About 45 days after the first purchase, Soldiers say, Netuno employees began to think something was amiss after contacting the supermarket’s corporate office and were told that Brian Gomez didn’t work for them and the email they used. Used it was fraud.
The FHP’s Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Bureau says it became aware of the illegal operations in early August and began conducting surveillance around the Medley warehouse. At 9:35 a.m. on August 4, investigators say they saw the truck and trailer used in a previous burglary in one of the warehouse’s bay doors.
Aguilera Baute, a Hialeah resident, signed the order’s paperwork, says the soldiers, and left with Hechevarria Echemend, who lives west of Miami Gardens, loading seafood into the tractor-trailer. Troopers say they followed the truck and a red Mustang that was following it to the 3255 Meridian Pucca. In the city of Broward, Weston. Investigators say the driver of the Mustang was later identified as Batista Suarez, a resident of Hialia.
Reportedly, about 15 minutes after the truck made its way back to a bay door at the Weston facility, soldiers arrested three men without incident.
The FHP says the investigation revealed that Aguilera Bouté and Hechevarria Acamende defrauded Netuno and were also responsible for five of the six cargo thefts totaling approximately $1.3 million in seafood. FHP said Batista Suarez participated in the theft of nearly $300,000 in seafood last week, and that all three used their cell phones to facilitate these thefts during the incident.
An FHP spokeswoman declined to name the supermarket for which the men allegedly claimed to work, citing an open investigation. His next court date was unknown as of Sunday afternoon.