Three suspects believed to be part of a Cuban gang stealing tractor-trailers along the East Coast were arrested in Wythe County on Wednesday night.
According to Wythe County Sheriff Keith Dunagan, the two men and one woman were captured near a trailer that was reported stolen at approximately 10 p.m. from Exit 41 off of Interstate 77.
Deputies found the trailer, which was loaded with Coty cosmetics valued at $250,000, at the intersection of Lithia Road and Bob Spring Road. The tractor was later located near Exit 77 off of Interstate 81.
Arraigned today on a variety of felony charges, 25-year-old Ritzy Montaner Robert of Louisville, Kentucky; 43-year-old Orlis Cantillo Machado, believed to be from Kentucky or Florida; and 47-year-old Miguel Roberto Mompie of Jeffersonville, Indiana, are being held without bond in the New River Valley Regional Jail in Dublin.
Robert was charged with grand larceny (two counts), conspiracy to commit grand larceny (three counts), possessing stolen property, conspiracy to possess stolen property, possession of burglary tools and conspiracy to possess burglary tools. Machado and Mompie are facing the same charges with an additional grand larceny count each.
Their preliminary hearings have been scheduled for April 16 in Wythe County Circuit Court.
According to a 2011 Bloomberg Businessweek article, the gangs often target trucks loaded with cosmetics, designer clothes and pharmaceuticals.