Attorney General Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution Charges Four Offenders in Major Heavy Machinery Theft Ring
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution is charging four offenders in a major heavy machinery theft ring spanning 14 counties in Florida. Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents arrested Daryl Machado, his wife Diana Sanchez, Gualberto Rodriguez and Miguel Sanchez Cardosa for involvement in a theft ring stealing more than $1.7 million worth of equipment. The group faces charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, multiple counts of burglary, grand theft and dealing in stolen property.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “These criminals stole more than $1.7 million worth of heavy construction machinery over two years, spanning 14 counties. The defendants now face a heavy load of more than 70 felony counts and I look forward to my Statewide Prosecutors handling this case.”
Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Mark Glass said, “The capture of these four individuals would not be possible without our crucial law enforcement partners across the state of Florida. Anyone who dishonors the rights of ownership and commits these schemes will not be tolerated. I commend our agents and partners for their efforts to continue keeping our communities safe.”
FDLE’s Sebring field office initiated the investigation in May 2021 after detectives from the sheriff’s offices in Collier, DeSoto and Lee counties provided agents with information on theft-ring related activities. Throughout the investigation, FDLE received support from multiple agencies around the state and helped agents and analysts to dismantle the criminal organization.
The investigation revealed that the theft ring targeted high-value heavy equipment and construction machinery, such as skid-steer machines, mini excavators, utility terrain vehicles and trailers used to transport the machinery. The thefts started around April 2020, and in a two-year period, the FDLE’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations investigation linked the ring to 28 thefts totaling more than $1.7 million. Authorities recovered some of the stolen equipment during the investigation.
FDLE agents arrested Machado and Sanchez in Miami on June 5. Rodriguez is already in custody in St. Johns County for another skid-steer theft. Authorities apprehended Sanchez Cardosa in Collier County on June 9 for his role, including buying one of the stolen skid steers. Together, the group faces a combined 72 felony counts.
The case will be prosecuted by Attorney General Moody’s OSP.
FDLE’s case remains active.
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