John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment charging MICHAEL FARIAS, 54, of Providence, Rhode Island, with offenses related to his alleged role in a scheme to steal tires and rims from new vehicles at car dealerships in northeastern states and then sell the stolen items to individuals across the country.
The indictment was returned under seal on March 10, 2020, and Farias was arrested today. He appeared via videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Spector and was released on a $100,000.
As alleged in the indictment, between May 2015 and August 2018, Farias and others stole tires and rims from numerous luxury vehicles at car dealerships in Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and Maine. The co-conspirators then sold the stolen goods to others around the U.S.
The indictment charges Farias with one count of conspiracy to transport stolen property, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, and one count of interstate transportation of stolen property, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Shelton, Milford, Waterbury, Stonington, Vernon, Darien, Westchester County (N.Y.), Bedford (N.Y.) and Portland (Maine) Police Departments, and the York County (Maine) Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.