March 31, 2017 (Dalton, GA) – A Whitfield County jury today convicted three men, Yosvani Cordero (42), Yoandy Linares-Machado (32), and Alexander Rodriguez-Moreno (37), all of Miami Florida, under Georgia’s new Cargo Theft statute. Code section 16-8-22 went into effect on July 1, 2014 to provide additional penalties for the growing problem of commercial cargo theft in Georgia and nationally. The statute applies to the theft of commercial vehicles and cargos and provides penalties based on the type of and value of the cargo, up to 30 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines. The State also established a Major Theft Unit within the GBI to investigate such cases and coordinate with other states as many cargo thefts cross state lines. This is believed to be the first trial and conviction in the State of Georgia under the new statute.
The three men were involved in stealing an 18-wheeler at the Tunnel Hill exit along I-75 on November 23, 2014. The trailer contained approximately $150,000 worth of batteries at the time of the theft. In coordination with the Miami-Dade Cargo Theft Task Force, the GBI Major Theft Unit identified stolen property connected to this case in Florida and was able to connect the three men to the theft of the vehicle and cargo and place them in the area at the time of the theft.
The State’s case was presented by Assistant District Attorney Ben Kenemer. The defendants were represented by local attorney Richard Murray (Linares), Norcross attorney Hector Cora (Cordero) and Miami attorney Steve Amster (Rodriguez). Chief Judge William T. Boyett presided over the trial and ordered sentencing set for May 18th. All three men will be in custody pending sentencing.
Each defendant faces from five to 20 years in prison and from fines from $150,000 to $1 million based on the value of the cargo.
Conasauga Judicial Circuit