Ringleader of Schemes to Steal and Sell Construction Equipment, Recreation Vehicles Sentenced

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Cranston man who organized and executed schemes to steal and sell nearly $700,000 worth of excavators, sport boats, jet skis, all-terrain vehicles, and trailers from dealerships and marinas in four New England states was sentenced today to five years in federal prison, announced Acting United States Attorney Richard B. Myrus.

From November 2019 through July 2020, Jose A. Montes, aka Jose Rivera, aka “Tuto”, 37, led one or more individuals under the cover of darkness to break into business and steal three Bobcat excavators, ten jet skis, four boats, eight all-terrain vehicles, and ten trailers. Some of the equipment was subsequently recovered by police; several of the items were hauled to Florida and sold; some items remain unaccounted for.

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Montes previously admitted to the court that:

Montes pleaded guilty on May 12, 2021, to eight counts of interstate transportation of stolen property and three counts of conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property. He was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Mary S. McElroy to 60 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of federal supervised release.


Eight additional defendants have been charged in this matter.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William J. Ferland and Ly T. Chin.

The investigation was launched by the Johnston and North Providence Police Departments, and later joined by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force. The investigation merged with a parallel investigation being conducted by Rhode Island and Connecticut State Police, and the Easton, Mass., and the Hampstead, N.H., Police Departments.

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Acting United States Attorney Myrus thanks the Tiverton, South Kingstown, Scituate, Cranston and Providence, R.I., and Auburn, Mass., Police Departments and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office in Sarasota, FL, for their assistance in the investigations.

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