Sheriff’s Office participates in Florida Commercial Vehicle and Cargo Theft Task Force
Operation “Lost Fleet” was a joint cargo theft decoy sting operation conducted in Saint Lucie, Indian River and Palm Beach Counties from Thursday 10/09/08 through Monday 10/13/08. The operation was a joint effort by members of the Florida Commercial Vehicle & Cargo Theft Task Force.
Participating in the operation were the Florida Highway Patrol, Florida DOT MCCO, Saint Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, CSX Railroad Police Department, and Miami-Dade TOMCATS. The operation was conducted under the Florida Commercial Vehicle & Cargo Theft Task Force Voluntary Participation Mutual Aid Agreement sponsored by the Florida Highway Patrol.
“A great deal of trucking on I-95 passes through St. Lucie County,” said St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara. “That’s why it’s important for the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office to participate in combined law enforcement efforts such as Operation Lost Fleet.”
There had been 27 commercial vehicle/cargo thefts reported to the electronic Freight Theft Management System (EFTMS) in Saint Lucie and Palm Beach Counties since January 1, 2008, with losses of approximately $8.4 million dollars in cargo and equipment. The goal of this operation was to identify and arrest those individuals responsible for the high incidents of cargo theft in this area of the State and to deter future high dollar thefts.
To accomplish our goals, we placed five semi-trailers loaded with decoy commodities in Saint Lucie, Palm Beach and Indian River Counties. Three of the decoys were owned and maintained by the Florida Highway Patrol Bureau of Investigations, one was owned by the Florida Department of Transportation, Motor Carrier Compliance Office and one was owned by the Saint Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.
At 3:07 AM on Sunday October 12, 2008, an FHP decoy alerted investigators that it had detected movement. A short while later, it alerted investigators that one of the GEO grids programmed into the system had been violated.
Miami-Dade County Police Department TOMCATS and Task Force participants stopped the cargo theft suspects in the city of Doral in Dade County. The two occupants of the semi-tractor used to pull the stolen decoy trailer were arrested during the traffic stop.
Driver of stolen decoy: Alcide Fraguela-Casanova, DOB: 02/23/58,of Miami.
Passenger of the stolen decoy: Raul Duran-Fonseca, DOB: 09/14/54, of Miami.
The two suspects that were arrested were charged with Cargo Theft a 1st degree felony and Grand Theft. Other charges are pending in Indian River County. Both of the above subjects have a criminal past involving cargo theft.
Separate from the above listed incident, and during this operation, one stolen semi-tractor and trailer valued at $70,000 was recovered in Martin County. The semi-tractor and trailer were stolen on September 29, 2008 in Lee County loaded with $80,000.00 of wine. The cargo has yet to be recovered.
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