Jose Gonzalo-Paulette and Guillermo Riol, both of Miami, Fla., are accused of operating a scheme to steal more than $330,000 worth of meat products from meat processors in Omaha.Gonzalo-Paulette, 25, and Riol, 39, were indicted in May by a federal grand jury for their alleged involvement in a scheme with others to steal loads of meat cargo by pretending to be the legitimate freight haulers with the authority to transport the loads, according to U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg.
The indictment alleges that the two men used the identities of truck drivers from Pennsylvania and posed as representatives of a legitimate trucking company to bid on hauling a load of beef products from Nebraska Beef to New York, as well as a load of pork products from Quality Pork International to a Texas destination.
While posing as representatives of U.S. Road Corporation, Gonzalo-Paulette and Riol were provided two loads of beef from Nebraska Beef valued at $308,797, as well as a load of pork from Quality Pork International valued at approximately $25,000.
Gonzalo-Paulette and Riol picked up the loads, but the meat never made it to intended destinations in New York and Texas, and was never located, Gilg said.
Both defendants were arrested in Florida.
The indictment charges them with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to transport stolen property in interstate commerce and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
They are scheduled to make their initial appearances in U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska on July 3.
Each man faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, plus five years if convicted of conspiracy to transport stolen property in interstate commerce, as well as a mandatory two years consecutive for each count of aggravated identity theft.
The case was investigated byU.S. Department of Agriculture - Office of Inspector General, the Miami Metropolitan Major Theft Task Force, the Polk County Florida Sheriff's Office, the Nebraska State Patrol and the Omaha Police Department.