Local10.com, Andrea Torres & Ian Margol, April 5, 2023
MIAMI – Detectives accused six men of running a scam that involved gradually stealing more than $1.27 million in products since October 2021 from a dairy company in Miami-Dade County, police announced on Wednesday.
Four of the six, who worked for Island Dairy, took advantage of a weakness in the ordering system to hide that they were loading more McArthur Dairy products into the company’s refrigerated trucks than they were reporting and delivering, according to police.
“Once out for delivery, the drivers would deviate from their preassigned respective routes, meet with another individual, and transfer the extra dairy products to their delivery truck,” Detective Luis Sierra, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department, wrote in the announcement.
The department’s organized crimes bureau worked on the case after the victims, Island Dairy LLC and McArthur Next LLC, conducted an internal investigation and handed over their findings to the police.
Sierra identified the six suspects as Jose Fallayera, 56; Eduardo Alvarez, 55; Ihosvany Lopez, 50; Maikel Rodriguez, 46; Yohanny Padron, 38; and Osleivy Rodriguez, 36.
A witness told detectives that Island Dairy had trusted Rodriguez, 36, the dispatcher, with ordering the milk cartons for the drivers’ daily delivery routes and investigators found that he was ordering more for some drivers than others, according to the arrest report.
Investigators placed GPS monitors on the drivers’ trucks and discovered there were regular unauthorized stops, police said. Detectives with the bureau’s cargo theft task force followed the drivers of the refrigerated trucks on March 10 to confirm the investigation’s findings.
Detectives found Rodriguez, 46, and Alvarez, both Island Dairy drivers, met with Lopez, a black market buyer, to make the exchange at about 5 a.m., on March 10, in the area of Northwest 36 Street and 21 Court, in Allapattah, police said.
Detectives later arrested Alvarez at 1895 SW 8 St., in Little Havana; and Fallayera, Lopez’s business associate, at his home in Tamiami, according to police reports. Alvarez denied the accusations.
Padron, another Island Dairy driver, also confessed that he was secretly selling each crate of milk for $10, according to a police report. Detectives arrested him on March 14 at the Island Dairy warehouse in Little River.
Lopez, the buyer, confessed that he was reselling them for $11 to $12 each, and Fallayera confessed that he knew the product was stolen, according to police reports.
In all, detectives accused the Island Dairy employees of stealing about $1,275,080, including about $925,080 in milk, during a period of about 18 months, according to the arrest reports. The police department classified the investigation as “Operation Got Milk.”
Rodriguez, 36, Rodriguez, 46, Fallayera, Alvarez, and Lopez, are each facing charges of first-degree grand theft of more than $50,000 in cargo, first-degree grand theft of more than $100,000, and an organized scheme to defraud, a third-degree felony. Padron is facing charges of first-degree grand theft of more than $50,000 in cargo and third-degree grand theft.
Detectives were asking anyone with information about the case to call Miami-Dade County Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.