Man arrested for stealing 192 ventilators intended for critically ill COVID-19 patients in El Salvador –

Man arrested for stealing 192 ventilators intended for critically ill COVID-19 patients in El Salvador – fr

Yoelvis Denis Hernandez, 42, was arrested Thursday in Del Rio, Texas on a South Florida indictment wanted for allegedly stealing a tractor-trailer loaded with 192 medical ventilators on August 9, 2020 while they were being trucked to Miami International Airport, the South Florida District Attorney’s Office said Friday.

The fans were worth around $ 3 million, officials said.

The indictment charged him, along with alleged accomplice Luis Urra Montero, 24, with federal conspiracy, possession of stolen goods shipped interstate and theft of government property.

In the August incident, Hernandez helped detach a trailer holding fans from a tractor as it was parked in a warehouse parking lot in Boynton Beach, Fla. At 1:47 a.m., according to the complaint. criminal.

The trailer had been parked overnight. The truck was to deliver the fans to Miami International Airport from where they would be delivered to El Salvador, according to the complaint.

The ventilators were sent to a COVID-19 intensive care facility in El Salvador as part of a U.S. government COVID-19 assistance program, authorities said.

The driver of the truck later reported the theft of the trailer, according to court documents. Authorities then located most of the ventilators, according to court documents, the South Florida prosecutor’s office said.

In September, the FBI offered a $ 5,000 reward for information about Hernandez’s whereabouts in the cargo theft and shared a photo of him on social media.

Hernandez first appeared in federal court on Friday in the Western District of Texas and future proceedings will take place in the Southern District of Florida, where the case is pending. A lawyer for Hernandez could not be immediately found.

Montero was arrested in September in Florida and is being held without bail pending trial, authorities said. ABC News has contacted Montero’s lawyer for comment.


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