Police: Hialeah men used ruse to steal truckloads of gum, chocolate, Red Bull, tuna

www.local10.com, Chris Gothner, November 15, 2023

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Two Hialeah men posed as truck drivers in order steal a diverse array of goods from at least four warehouses in Miami-Dade County, according to police.

Authorities say the shipments of gum, chocolate, energy drinks and seafood were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars at retail.

Police said Juan Quevedo, 51, and Leonardo Guerra-Nieves, 54, targeted warehouses in Hialeah Gardens, Medley and unincorporated Miami-Dade.

Detectives from the Miami-Dade Police Department arrested Quevedo at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, where he had been booked Tuesday evening on illegal dumping and resisting arrest charges in an unrelated case.

It’s not clear whether police were still looking for Guerra-Nieves as of Wednesday.

According to an arrest warrant, the two men specialized in “fictional pick-ups,” where they posed as truck drivers with the authority to take possession of cargo using fake release orders.

An MDPD detective wrote that the pair committed their two thefts on Aug. 23, 2019.

Their first stop, police said, was at a warehouse 9375 NW 117th Ave., between Medley and Doral. Investigators said one of the men called the warehouse claiming to be from a company that won a bid to move two loads of product to New York.

Cops say after providing the warehouse with what appeared to be a legitimate release order, the pair would make off with a sweet haul: 13 pallets of Hershey’s chocolate worth nearly $100,000 at retail.

The pair would then go to a warehouse at 10841 NW 122nd St. in Medley and pull off the same trick, the warrant states. The pair would leave with a haul of Trident, Wrigley and Doublemint chewing gum worth about $235,000 at retail.

On Aug. 27, 2019, police said the pair went to a warehouse at 3200 NW 62nd Ave., on the grounds of the Miami International Airport, and stole about $150,000 worth of Red Bull energy drinks destined for a Fort Myers warehouse.

Police accused a truck driver from Cutler Bay of doing the exact same thing after arresting him in April.

The fourth and final heist described in the warrant involved more than $150,000 worth of ahi tuna, stolen on Feb. 21, 2020 from a warehouse at 13801 NW 112th Ave. in Hialeah Gardens.

In that case, authorities said Quevedo provided the warehouse an Arkansas commercial driver’s license using his own picture, but not his own name. Instead, the license contained the alias “Juan Carlos Garcia.”

Quevedo was held at TGK on a $51,000 total bond on four counts of cargo theft and one count of organized fraud Wednesday. He remained behind bars, awaiting bond, on a separate domestic violence warrant.

News article: https://www.local10.com/news/local/2023/11/15/police-hialeah-men-used-ruse-to-steal-truckloads-of-gum-chocolate-red-bull-tuna/