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  1. #1
    Senior Member CCUSA's Avatar
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    7 Arrested in Baby Formula Trafficking Ring

    http://www.tcpalm.com/tcp/local_news/ar ... 67,00.html

    Seven nabbed in baby formula trafficking ring

    Oscar Geovanny Milla Cortagena
    Elsa Rivera-Hernandez
    Rosa Padilla Valladeres
    Luis Rolando Flores-VallesStory Tools
    Email this story | Print VIEW AFFIDAVITS FROM WEDNESDAY ARRESTS

    VIEW AFFIDAVITS FROM THURSDAY ARRESTS citizenship unkown

    By GABRIEL MARGASAK
    gabriel.margasak@scripps.com

    February 2, 2007

    STUART — State agents and local deputies captured members of a baby formula trafficking ring that may be part of a much larger operation, according to officials and reports released Thursday.
    The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, along with the Martin County Sheriff's Office, arrested seven people Wednesday and Thursday, seizing about $48,000 worth of powdered formula mix in 1,700 cans, according to FDLE spokeswoman Susie Murphy.


    One trafficker hauling an additional 1,450 cans of formula worth $40,600 had slipped away with the goods, reports said.
    "It's apparently a nationwide thing, and really that's all I can say because it's an active investigation, not (just) here but everywhere," she said.

    FDLE Special Agent Kevin Kulp wrote in a report that the group may have been directed out of the North Carolina area and "have been identified as being part of a much larger baby formula trafficking organization."

    At $28 a can, it is possible the containers of powdered formula were stolen to sell back to distributors who sell right back to the stores that were victims of the shopliftings. Authorities, however, declined to detail the operation involving cans of Similac Organic, Similac Alimentum and other such products.

    Authorities had yet to determine whether the seven people arrested were in the U.S. legally.

    Arrested on a felony charge of trafficking in stolen property were Hilda Hernandez, 26, Miguel Angel Aguilar, 26, Luis Valle-Flores, 30, Oscar Geovanny Milla Cortagena, 29, Elsa Rivera-Hernandez, 21, and Rosa Padilla Valladeres, 45, all of Wallace, N.C. Maria Vargas, 36, address unknown, was also charged with trafficking.

    The bust came after a tip from a confidential source on Wednesday, according to FDLE reports.

    The source said a group of people was stealing "large quantities of baby formula from grocery and retail stores throughout the Treasure Coast area," Kulp wrote.

    Authorities quickly got a vehicle description and information the group was going to hit a Hobe Sound Winn-Dixie.

    The source then said the group was going to hit the Publix in Stuart's Wedgwood Commons.

    A Publix store manager told authorities several people were placing large quantities of baby formula in a cart.

    They fled when approached by store workers.

    The thieves and their vehicle managed to elude law enforcement, but the source said they returned to the Suburban Lodge off U.S. 1 in Stuart.

    Agent Kulp was watching the lodge when they left again and headed for the storage units where they were keeping the stolen formula.

    Surveillance was set up at Tropical Self Storage on Indian Street.

    The agent saw the group loading stolen formula from the storage unit into a green Plymouth Voyager minivan.

    The agent, with sheriff's deputies, made their move and four people were taken to jail on charges of trafficking in stolen property.

    On Thursday, three more people allegedly connected with the group were arrested in a traffic stop at Kanner Highway and Monterey Road.

    One woman arrested had outstanding warrants for petit theft out of Osceola and Seminole counties, according to reports. She allegedly admitted her role in the operation, saying she stole about six cans from each of six stores during one week. The loss was placed at $1,000.

    Another woman admitted she had worked for the organization for some time. Her job was to walk the formula out of the stores.


    Comments (39) »
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  2. #2
    Senior Member IndianaJones's Avatar
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    It's just good family values.
    We are NOT a nation of immigrants!

  3. #3
    Senior Member CCUSA's Avatar
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    More ways to steal from the America! I'm sure they thought it was a safe alternative to selling and distributing drugs. Stealing is still stealing!
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  4. #4
    Senior Member swatchick's Avatar
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    I guess they were doing a job Americans wouldn't do just as those who cook meth and smuggle drugs.
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  5. #5
    Cthelight's Avatar
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    Ok, you all,

    This is a weird thing. A few months ago, I noticed that
    all the baby formula was in locked cases. I thought, this is
    strange, surely Walgreen's would not mind if someone "borrowed"
    a few cans of baby formula. Although, there is an organization
    called WIC...and it is free.

    This morning I saw this...and gosh, someone from Michigan said
    she noticed it all the way in Michigan and I am in S.Florida.

    Well, read this whole article. It is tied into Hamas and Hezbollah.
    But one of the comments from the original article mentioned
    baby formula being used to cut drugs.

    Even if it is not a terrorist group, to have that many illegal aliens
    involved in a group that basically covers the USA, is huge. To me,
    this really shows the extend of the "invasion" of this country.

    I just really think that this is odd. Get my tin hat. I mean, this must
    involve a lot of baby formula.

  6. #6
    Senior Member swatchick's Avatar
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    Baby formula is used to cut cocaine. It is sad to think that now baby formula has to be locked up.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member CCUSA's Avatar
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    That is quite an eye opener. It's a good thing their locking it up to stop the criminal activity.

    Deport all of them now.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Neese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swatchick
    Baby formula is used to cut cocaine. It is sad to think that now baby formula has to be locked up.
    I learn something new every day. Now, I am going to check my local store to see if the formula is locked up here too.

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