Central Nebraska meat thefts part of multimillion-dollar theft ring

Florida trio arrested in connection to meat thefts throughout six states, including Nebraska
"We believe there to be approximately 45 thefts of semi trailers that contained either pork or beef totaling $9 million in loss."
Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 3:45 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2022 at 11:31 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Three people from Florida were arrested in connection to meat thefts across Nebraska and five other states.

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into several stolen semi-trailers and loads of frozen beef occurring in Lancaster County on June 27. According to LSO, the estimated loss was $1 million.

“Basically connected the dots and identified the common denominators in these cases and determined there was beef stolen not only from Grand Island, there was some beef stolen from York and South Dakota and the cases just continued to roll,” Wagner said.

Since June of 2022, LSO and Homeland Security Investigation Omaha has identified approximately 45 thefts that have occurred across Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin totaling $9 million in loss.

LSO said that this organized, criminal enterprise is based out of Miami, Florida and has been targeting beef and pork packaging plants in those six states.

According to Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner, through electronic surveillance and electronic analysis, three suspects were identified.

On Thursday, HSI Omaha, LSO and the Florida Highway Patrol, with assistance from HSI Miami El Dorado Task Force South identified and arrested three individuals in the criminal enterprise, recovering three tractor-trailers with stolen items valued at $550,000.

LSO said the three people that were arrested were 38-year-old Yoslany Leyva Del Sol, 37-year-old Ledier Machin Andino, and 39-year-old Delvis L. Fuentes, all from the Miami, Florida area.

The three were arrested under 18 U.S. Code 2314 Transportation of Stolen Goods and 18 U.S. Code 1956 Money Laundering.

Sheriff Wagner explained that he had one of LSO’s investigators dedicated to work full-time on these cases. LSO said investigators are still working to identify additional victims and suspects.

According to Sheriff Wagner, investigators are not sure at this point where the stolen beef was ending up, however he explained that the suspects would look for potential areas to steal trailers.

Sheriff Wagner said the suspects knew what to look for, where to look and then hooked up their trailer and would take off. In some cases, Sheriff Wagner said the suspects had false bills of lading.

This investigation is ongoing and is part of Homeland Security Investigations-Omaha and Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Task Force.