A string of thefts involving nearly $9 million worth of frozen beef and pork has culminated in the sentencing of three Florida men. The criminal spree spanned approximately 45 thefts across six Midwest states, targeting meat packing plants. The perpetrators have been handed down prison sentences for their involvement in the audacious crime ring.
The operation, masterminded from Miami, Florida, kicked off in June 2021 and focused on meat packing facilities in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. The scale of the thefts was staggering, with a cumulative loss exceeding $9 million. Among the notable incidents were two high-profile cases: a haul of pork products valued at $100,000 snatched from the JBS plant in Ottumwa, Iowa, and the audacious theft of three semi-trailers loaded with beef from the JBS USA plant in Grand Island, Nebraska.
The breakthrough in the case came on October 20, 2022, when investigators from the Lancaster County Nebraska Sheriff’s Office, in collaboration with Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) Omaha, managed to apprehend the three suspects. Their investigative toolkit included the use of cell phone records and GPS tracking devices to pinpoint the perpetrators behind this large-scale meat theft operation.
The individuals at the center of the storm were identified as Yoslany Leyva Del Sol (age 39), Ledier Machin Andino (age 38), and Delvis L. Fuentes (age 40). The trio faced charges of transporting stolen goods and money laundering in Florida's federal court. Their guilty plea to possession of stolen goods led to their sentencing in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida.
The culmination of this legal saga saw each of the three men handed a two-year prison sentence, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Furthermore, as part of their punishment, they were collectively ordered to pay more than $206,000 in restitution.
This meat heist saga, with its intricate web of thefts and its eventual resolution, serves as a reminder of the lengths to which criminals can go to orchestrate audacious, high-value thefts. The case also underscores the importance of modern investigative techniques, from cell phone tracking to GPS technology, in apprehending those responsible for such brazen criminal activities.