9 indicted in scheme to steal equipment from 4 states

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Nine people have been indicted for their alleged roles in a theft ring that stole about $700,000 worth of excavators, boats, personal watercraft, all-terrain vehicles, and trailers from dealers in four New England states, federal prosecutors said Monday.

The suspects often staked out the dealerships and marinas after dark looking to steal equipment, according to a statement from the office of Aaron Weisman, U.S. attorney for Rhode Island.

They did so at the direction of the alleged ringleader, Jose A. Montes, also known as Jose Rivera, 36, of Cranston. It could not be determined if he had an attorney.

The group stole three Bobcat excavators, 10 personal watercraft, four boats, eight all-terrain vehicles, and 10 trailers valued at nearly $700,000 between November 2019 and July 2020, from businesses in South Kingstown and Tiverton, Rhode Island; Auburn, Rehoboth, and Easton, Massachusetts; Waterford, Vernon, and Stafford, Connecticut; and Hampstead, New Hampshire, prosecutors said.

The stolen equipment was then stored in various places in Rhode Island and in some cases hauled to Florida where it was sold, authorities said.

The suspects face charges including interstate transportation of stolen property, receipt of stolen goods, and conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property.

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