Miguel Angel Artiles Rivas and other unknown suspects Acused of Stealing Ksh.236M Worth Of Liquor

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said thieves stole $1.6 million (Ksh.236M) worth of alcohol from a warehouse in Gibsonton. 

Deputies arrested Miguel Angel Artiles Rivas on July 14, 2023. According to an arrest report, Rivas and other unknown suspects entered the Republic National Distributing Company around 6:00 a.m. in July.

While inside the business, Rivas and other individuals used the business’s forklifts to remove approximately $1.6 million worth of various alcoholic beverages into multiple semi-trailers.

The arrest report stated during the burglary, approximately $30,000 worth of alcoholic beverages on pallets were damaged and destroyed.

“It’s a lot, pallets and pallets stacked high of this alcohol. They loaded those trucks and took them out of here, and we later found them down in South Florida,” said Marco Villarreal with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the arrest report, surveillance video shows the semi-trailers, one red and one white, leaving the business the morning of the theft.

Detectives learned the criminals moved the liquor to South Florida after the theft. It was located in a storage facility in Hialeah, Florida. More than $1.5 million in liquor was recovered and returned to its owner.

Rivas faces charges of burglary and grand theft. Detectives have issued an arrest warrant for Ruth Melly Cardero, 54, for her involvement in the robbery.

“Two of the people that we have right now, the one that’s arrested and the one that has a warrant out for her arrest, they’re from here in the Tampa Bay Area, so we’re looking to see if there are more people involved statewide because this liquor was found in the south part of Florida,” said Villarreal.

According to court records, Rivas has pleaded not guilty.

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