Interstate Theft Scheme Ringleader Pleads Guilty | USAO-RI

PROVIDENCE – A Cranston man today admitted to a federal court judge that he led a nine-person conspiracy that participated in a four-state scheme to steal heavy construction equipment, sport boats, jet skis, all-terrain vehicles, and trailers.

According to court documents, Jose A. Montes, aka Jose Rivera, aka “Tuto”, 36, led the group of individuals that broke into businesses in four New England states in order to steal three Bobcat excavators, ten jet skis, three boats, eight all-terrain vehicles, and fourteen trailers, valued at nearly $700,000.

Appearing in federal court in Providence today, Montes admitted that he personally participated in

  • The October 22 and 23, 2019, break-in of a Rehoboth, MA, business and the theft of four jet skis and two trailers valued at approximately $64,000. Two of the watercrafts were later recovered in Cranston by Cranston Police.
  •  A November 18, 2019, break-in at a South Kingstown marina and the theft of a sport boat and trailer valued at $30,000. The boat and trailer were later recovered by law enforcement in Sarasota, FL.
  • A December 28, 2019, break-in at a Tiverton business and the theft of two sport fishing boats and trailers valued at nearly $200,000. The boats were first towed to Johnston. Montes admitted that he removed the engine from one of the boats and then left the boat in Scituate. The engineless boat was later recovered by police. The second boat was towed to Sarasota, FL, to be sold. It was recovered by law enforcement in Sarasota.
  • The April 10, and 11, 2020, break-ins at an Auburn, MA, Bobcat dealer and the theft of three Bobcat machines valued at a total of approximately $195,000. Two of the Bobcats were later recovered by Johnston Police. The third stolen Bobcat was recovered by North Providence Police.
  • The April 12, 2020, break-in at a Waterford, CT, business and the theft of a jet ski and trailer valued at $17,000. The stolen items have not been recovered.
  • The July 17, 2021, attempted break-in at a Vernon, CT, business and the attempted theft of an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), a three-wheeled sport vehicle, and a trailer. The break-in was interrupted by police. Montes and a person working at his direction fled the area. Later that evening, Montes admitted, he and the second person stole $58,000 worth of items from a Scranton, CT, business, to include an ATV, a jet ski, and two trailers.
  • On July 20, 2020, Montes, directed a group of men who travelled together in three vehicles to an Easton, MA, business where they stole three jet skis and three trailers valued at a total of nearly $48,100. The stolen items were transported to Providence.
  • On July 29, 2020, Montes and others working at his direction broke-in to a Hampstead, NH, business and stole four ATVs, three jet skis, a three-wheeled sport vehicle, and two trailers, valued at a total of $90,400.

 

On August 2, 2020, Providence Police located a stolen ATV parked in the rear of a Providence residence. On August 9, 2020, Easton Police recovered a trailer stolen in that town. On that same date, Hampstead, NH, Police recovered an ATV stolen in that town.

Appearing today before U.S. District Court Mary S. McElroy, Montes pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property and eight counts of interstate transportation of stolen property, announced Acting United States Attorney Richard B. Myrus.

Montes is scheduled to be sentenced on August 3, 2021.

The investigation into the stolen items was launched by the Johnston and North Providence Police Departments, and joined by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, and merged with a parallel investigation by Rhode Island and Connecticut State Police, and the Easton, MA,, and Hampstead, NH, Police Departments.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William J. Ferland and Ly T. Chin.

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