www.Justice.gov, Press Release, April 12, 2023
Defendants allegedly responsible for an estimated $2 million in losses across Massachusetts and New Hampshire during 2022 and 2023
BOSTON – Seven members of an organized theft crew were arrested today and charged in federal court in Boston in connection with thefts across the region, including catalytic converters stolen from over 470 vehicles, automatic teller machines and jewelry stores. Over 70 local police departments from across New England contributed to this investigation.
The following defendants have been charged with conspiracy to transport stolen property in interstate commerce; interstate transportation of stolen property; conspiracy to commit bank theft; bank theft; and money laundering conspiracy. They will make an initial appearance in federal court in Boston at 1:30 p.m. today:
1. Rafael Davila, a/k/a “Robin Hood,” 35, of Feeding Hills, Mass.;
2. Jose Torres, a/k/a “Goldy,” a/k/a “Goldy Tech,” 37, of Springfield, Mass.;
3. Nicolas Davila, 25, of Springfield, Mass.;
4. Carlos Fonseca, a/k/a “Charlito,” 26, of Springfield, Mass.;
5. Zachary Marshall, 26, of Holyoke, Mass.;
6. Santo Feliberty, 34, of Springfield, Mass.; and
7. Alexander Oyola, a/k/a “Dirty,” 37, of Springfield, Mass.
Catalytic converters are a component of a vehicle’s exhaust device that reduce the toxic gas and pollutants from a vehicle’s internal combustion engine into safe emissions, and are required on all combustion engine automobiles in the United States. Catalytic converters use precious metals in their center or ‘core’ and are targeted for theft due to the high value of these metals – including palladium, platinum and rhodium. Some of these precious metals are more valuable per ounce than gold and their value has been increasing in recent years, with black-market prices being more than $1,000 each.
Catalytic converters thieves conduct searches in residential neighborhoods, parking lots and other locations to steal the most high-value catalytic converters. Located in a vehicle’s undercarriage, the theft of a vehicle’s catalytic converter results in damage that renders the vehicle inoperable – both mechanically and legally under EPA regulations – until properly replaced. Continue Press Release