A Miami resident who pleaded guilty earlier this year to participating in the theft of more than $1 million worth of cigarettes from the Leitchfield Core-Mark warehouse was sentenced this week to serve 57 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $1,486,164.45.
On Wednesday, April 20, United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr., announced Ivan Romero, AKA El Negro, 42, had been sentenced in U.S. District Court by Chief Judge Joseph McKinley, Jr.
Romero pleaded guilty to a two-count federal indictment in January of this year, and admitted that he and others stole more than a million dollars in cigarettes from the Core-Mark cigarette warehouse in Leitchfield in March of 2011, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky.
Romero also admitted that he and others received the stolen cigarettes (which constitute an interstate and foreign shipment of property valued at over $1,000) with the intent to convert the property to their own use.
During the theft, Romero and his co-conspirators gained entry into the Core-Mark warehouse through the roof, disabled the alarm system, and loaded the stolen goods into a tractor-trailer that had also been stolen.
Between March 18, 2011 and March 20, 2011, defendant Camilo Rodriguez-Hernandez allegedly rented three hotel rooms in Elizabethtown, KY, where the co-conspirators, who had traveled to Kentucky from Miami, FL, resided during the burglary and theft.
Between March 19, 2011 and March 20, 2011, Amuary Villa, Romero, Amed Villa, and other co-conspirators allegedly unloaded a stolen tractor-trailer and loaded it with cigarettes.
Romero admitted to providing transportation for the stolen cigarettes and driving them to the New Jersey/New York area, the release states.
Romero, a legal permanent resident from Cuba who last resided in Miami, has been serving a state sentence from Florida, before being transferred to federal custody.
Romero’s federal sentence is 11 months concurrent with a six-year sentence for similar crimes in Florida.
Further, Romero was sentenced to serve 46 months to run consecutive to the six years he is serving in the state of Florida.
Restitution will be paid to Core-Mark and the insurance company for Core-Mark.
Co-defendants Amuary Villa and Camillo Rodriguez Hernandez have trials pending.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Judd, and the investigation of the Core-Mark theft is being led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), with assistance from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Leitchfield and Elizabethtown Police Departments, and New Jersey and Kentucky State Police Departments.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.