‘Got milk?’: Investigators uncover how group of men stole over $1M …
MIAMI – Detectives accused six men of running a scam that involved gradually stealing more than $1.27 million in products since 2021 until recently from a dairy supplier and distributor in Miami-Dade County, police announced on Wednesday.
Some of the men, who worked for Island Dairy, took advantage of a weakness in the ordering system so that they could hide that they were loading more McArthur dairy products into the company’s refrigerated trucks than they were reporting and delivering, according to police.
“Once out for delivery, the drivers would deviate from their preassigned respective routes, meet with another individual, and transfer the extra dairy products to their delivery truck,” Detective Luis Sierra, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department, wrote in the announcement.
The department’s organized crimes bureau worked on the case after the Miami-Dade-based victims, Island Dairy LLC and McArthur Next LLC, conducted an internal investigation and recently reported their findings to the police.
Sierra identified the suspects as Jose Fallayera, 56; Eduardo Alvarez, 55; Ihosvany Lopez, 50; Maikel Rodriguez, 46; Yohanny Padron, 38; and Osleivy Rodriguez, 36. They were all employees of Island Dairy, based out of 240 NE 71 St., in Little River ― except for Fallayera and Lopez.
A witness told detectives that Island Dairy had trusted Rodriguez, 36, the dispatcher, with ordering the milk cartons for the drivers’ daily delivery routes and investigators found that he was ordering more for some drivers, according to the arrest report.
Investigators placed GPS monitors on the trucks, followed the drivers, and discovered there were regular unauthorized transfers of the stolen dairy products, police said. Detectives with the bureau’s cargo theft task force followed the drivers of the refrigerated trucks on March 10 to confirm the investigation’s findings.
Detectives found Rodriguez, 46, and Alvarez, both Island Dairy drivers, met with Lopez, a buyer, to make the exchange at about 5 a.m., on March 10, in the area of Northwest 36 Street and 21 Court, in Allapattah, police said. Alvarez denied the accusations, but Rodriguez, 46, and Lopez confessed, according to police.
Detectives later arrested Alvarez on March 10, at 1895 SW 8 St., in Little Havana; Fallayera, Lopez’s business associate, on March 10 at his home in Tamiami; and Padron on March 14 at 240 NW 71 St., in Miami’s Little River neighborhood.
Padron, another Island Dairy driver, also confessed that he was secretly selling each crate of milk for $10, according to a police report. Lopez, the buyer, confessed that he was reselling them for $11 to $12 each, according to police reports.
Rodriguez, 36, Rodriguez, 46, Fallayera, Alvarez, and Lopez, are facing charges of first-degree grand theft of more than $50,000 in cargo, first-degree grand theft of more than $100,000, and an organized scheme to defraud, a third-degree felony.
Padron is facing charges of first-degree grand theft of more than $50,000 in cargo and third-degree grand theft.
Detectives were asking anyone with information about the case to call Miami-Dade County Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.