A 28-year-old Providence man admitted to participating in a scheme that spanned several states in New England and involved stealing and selling nearly $700,000 worth of excavators, sport boats, jet skis, all-terrain vehicles, and trailers.
Jared Santiago, pleaded guilty Monday to charges of conspiracy and interstate transportation of stolen goods, acting United States Attorney of Rhode Island Richard B. Myrus said. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 17.
Santiago was one of nine individuals indicted by a federal grand jury for participating in the schemes, which took place in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, specifically Auburn, Easton, Rehoboth and Seekonk, authorities said.
Authorities said that between November 2019 and July 2020, three Bobcat excavators, ten jet skis, four boats, eight all-terrain vehicles, and ten trailers valued at over $700,000 were stolen.
Many of the stolen items were stored in Rhode Island and several of the stolen items were hauled to Florida to be sold, authorities said.
Santiago admitted that in December 2019, he and others stole two boats, a 24-foot boat valued at $102,065, and a 22-foot boat valued at $90,914, from Don’s Marina in Tiverton, Rhode Island, and transported one of the boats to Sarasota, Florida.
Santiago is the second person to plead guilty in the scheme. In December, Luis M. Morales, 37, of Providence, admitted that on July of 2020, he and others stole a 2020 Yamaha watercraft, a 2019 Can-Am Maverick Sport off-road vehicle, and two trailers in Connecticut.
Months earlier in July, he stole three jet skis in Easton, authorities said.
Morales pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property and two counts of interstate transportation of stolen property. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 21.
Seven other defendants, including the alleged leader of the conspiracy, Jose A. Montes, aka Jose “Tuto” Rivera, 36, of Cranston, Rhode Island, are awaiting trial.
As part of the scheme, two Bobcat excavators valued at $60,000 and $75,000, were stolen in Auburn in April of 2020, authorities said.
Using GPS built into the equipment, the excavators were located and recovered by law enforcement. Two of the machines were located in Johnston, Rhode Island, the other was in North Providence.
GPS data showed that two of the stolen machines were stored on a farm in North Scituate before being moved to Johnston, authorities said. One of the excavators was brought briefly to a residence in Warwick.
The third excavator, authorities said, was first taken to a location in Glocester, Rhode Island, then moved to North Providence, where it was located and seized by law enforcement.
According to court documents, a 2019 Yamaha jet ski and two 2018 Sea Doo jet skis were stolen in Rehoboth. In May of 2020, a 2020 Yamaha jet ski and a 2020 Kawasaki ATV were taken in Seekonk.
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