Florida Men Accused of Stealing $1.3M Worth of Seafood

They were caught after seafood supplier got suspicious
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2022 2:30 AM CDT
Updated Aug 8, 2022 3:18 AM CDT
Florida Men Allegedly Make Off With $1.3M Worth of Seafood
This photo shows stone crab claws on the sorting table at Pelican Point Seafood on opening day of stone crab season, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014 in Tarpon Springs, Fla.   (AP Photo/Tampa Bay Times/Jim Damaske)

Three South Florida men are accused of stealing $1.3 million in seafood by pretending they were a buyer for a supermarket. Rene Hechevarria Echemend, 33, Ernesto Aguilera Baute, 36, and Jose Luis Batista Suarez, 40, are accused of carrying out a scheme in which the fake buyer (using the name Brian Gomez) placed seafood orders, supposedly on behalf of a supermarket, and picked them up at a warehouse. But the seafood supplier got suspicious after contacting the supermarket in question and being told no one by that name worked for them, the Miami Herald reports. Authorities ultimately used surveillance to catch the men, they say. The men face seven counts of grand theft cargo of over $50,000 and seven counts of obtaining property over $5,000. (Read more weird crimes stories.)

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