MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WFLA) — A group of Florida men were arrested after Miami-Dade police said the men were involved in a dairy products theft ring responsible for more than $1 million worth of stolen items.
Police told WTVJ that the six suspects were all employees of Island Dairy, a milk distributor that worked with McArthur Dairy, a milk and dairy products company. They were arrested as a result of an investigation dubbed, “Operation Got Milk,” the police department said Wednesday.
The news station reported that the suspects were delivery drivers and dispatchers for Island Dairy. Since 2021, the suspects “systematically pilfered” more than $925,000 worth of milk from McArthur Dairy, along with around $350,000 worth of crates, an arrest report obtained by WTVJ said.
The men would allegedly manipulate the ordering system, causing extra dairy products to be loaded onto the distribution delivery trucks.
Police said the delivery drivers would deviate from their preassigned routes, meet with another individual and transfer the extra dairy products to their delivery truck.
One suspect allegedly sold each stolen milk carton for $10.
“This was an organized crime, basically, where they were working in unison to steal products from a company and obviously the person receiving those products was selling stolen goods,” Miami-Dade Police Det. Luis Sierra told WTVJ.
Officers told WTVJ that Island Dairy conducted an internal investigation that uncovered the irregularities and identified the potential suspects.
Police were then contacted and began surveillance on the suspects. Hours later, investigators said they captured the transfer of stolen dairy products on video.
The suspects were identified as Yohanny Padron, 38; Jose Fallayera, 56; Eduardo Alvarez, 55; Osleivy Rodriguez, 36; Ihosvany Lopez, 50; and Maikel Rodriguez, 46.
WTVJ reported that they face various grand theft and organized scheme to defraud chargers.
“If you do something illegally, it’s only a matter of time before you get caught,” Sierra told the news station. “Thank God, Miami-Dade Police Department has excellent officers and detectives, they did a great job all around, and these individuals were charged accordingly.”