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Arrest in Massive Central Florida Liquor Theft

Deputies recently arrested one Central Florida individual for stealing more than a million dollars of liquor, and are actively searching for a second suspect.

Between July 7, 2023, and July 10, 2023, a group of suspects entered a liquor distribution center in Gibsonton, Florida near Tampa. During that period, the suspects removed approximately $1.6 million of liquor from the warehouse utilizing at least two semi-trailers.

Through investigative means, detectives learned the criminals moved the liquor to South Florida after the theft. Shortly after, investigators seized a Kenworth semi-cab, two Wabash trailers, and a Kia Stinger used to commit the crime. Working with Florida Highway Patrol and other local law enforcement agencies, HCSO detectives located a storage facility in Hialeah, Florida, used to hold the stolen liquor. More than $1.5 million in liquor was recovered and returned to its owner.

“I commend our dedicated detectives for their tireless efforts in swiftly apprehending the individual responsible for this audacious million-dollar liquor theft,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “The recovery of over $1.5 million worth of stolen liquor is a testament to their unwavering commitment to justice. As the investigation unfolds, we anticipate further arrests, ensuring that all involved parties are brought to justice.”

HCSO detectives have arrested 33-year-old Miguel Angel Artiles Rivas for the theft and have charged him with Burglary More than $1,000.00 Damage and Grand Theft $100,000 or More.

In addition, detectives have issued an arrest warrant for Ruth Melly Cardero for her involvement in the theft. While deputies work to apprehend her, if anyone knows her whereabouts, please contact HCSO at 813-247-8200.

This is still an ongoing investigation. Here are photos from the grand theft:

(photos courtesy of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office)

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