Several arrests were made earlier this week in a multi-state theft ring involving frozen beef and pork, the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office in Nebraska announced on Tuesday.

The first theft was reported in Nebraska in June, and the ring was responsible for about forty-five thefts, taking merchandise valued at around $9 million, with robberies carried out in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Three people were arrested in Florida on October 20 with three tractor-trailers full of stolen merchandise recovered at the scene. All three were arrested under 18 U.S. Code 2314 Transportation of Stolen Goods and 18 U.S. Code 1956 Money Laundering.

“It has been determined through the investigation, led by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office and HSI-Omaha’s Major Crimes Task Force, that this highly sophisticated Organized Criminal Enterprise is based out of Miami, Florida and has been targeting beef and pork packaging plants in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin,” the sheriff’s office said.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) also announced the arrests in a press release. And court papers were released, identifying several businesses targeted by the ring.

An affidavit from the FBI agent on the case laid out how it was made. They “executed telephone tower dumps of the time and location” of one of the initial thefts,” finding one specific phone number that was spotted in multiple locations. This helped track down the phone numbers of the two other suspects.

Subsequent video surveillance also helped make the case against the three suspects, as did GPS trackers that were later added.

Eventually, on October 18 the Tennessee Highway Patrol conducted a traffic spot that found pallets of pork in a trailer, which matched the description of stolen items from a theft shortly beforehand. The driver also had a counterfeit “bill of lading” for the stolen meat.

“Based on the above information, I submit that there is probable cause to believe that [the three suspects] all knowingly transported in interstate commerce, goods, wares, and merchandise of the value of $5,000 or more, knowing the same to have been stolen, converted, or taken of fraud, in violation of Title 18, 18 U.S. Code 2314,” the affidavit concluded.

Local news reports, citing that affidavit, have named specific businesses that were targeted by the suspects.

“Meat trafficking! It’s a thing now, and it’s happening in Minnesota … the investigation is ongoing, but so far three have been arrested in Miami, Florida, in connection to this … very unexpected but apparently quite lucrative crime ring,” the Minnesota news outlet Racket said of the arrests,” citing the thefts that took place in that state.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters.

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Busted: Several Arrests Made in Midwestern Meat Theft Ring

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28.10.2022

Several arrests were made earlier this week in a multi-state theft ring involving frozen beef and pork, the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office in Nebraska announced on Tuesday.

The first theft was reported in Nebraska in June, and the ring was responsible for about forty-five thefts, taking merchandise valued at around $9 million, with robberies carried out in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Three people were arrested in Florida on October 20 with three tractor-trailers full of stolen merchandise recovered at the scene. All three were arrested under 18 U.S. Code 2314 Transportation of Stolen Goods and 18 U.S. Code 1956 Money Laundering.

“It has been determined through the investigation, led by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office and HSI-Omaha’s Major Crimes Task Force,........

© The National Interest


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