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ORC 8-9-16




UPDATE: Rockledge, FL: Couple found guilty of Multi- million dollar Racketeering charges in Polk County 'Operation Got Milk'; Woman faces up to 150 years; man up to 30 years
A 51-year-old woman was convicted late Sunday of racketeering and money laundering in a statewide theft of baby formula worth millions of dollars. Alicia Tondreau-Leve now faces a maximum sentence of 150 years in prison. Her husband, Alan Leve, 52, who was convicted of conspiracy to commit racketeering, faces 30 years in prison. Circuit Court jurors deliberated for eight hours before convicting the couple, said Kylie Mason, press secretary for Attorney General Pam Bondi. A sentencing hearing before Circuit Judge Wayne Durden is scheduled for Sept. 23. Officials said the thefts occurred in Polk County and across Central Florida in Publix Super Markets, Wal-Mart, Winn-Dixie and Target stores over a two-year period. Each of the businesses lost $1 million to $2 million over that time, investigators reported, according to The Orlando Sentinel. In opening statements, Paul Dontenville, assistant statewide prosecutor, said the couple planned to buy a $500,000 home in Brevard County with cash. "This criminal enterprise spanned the entire state of Florida," Dontenville said. Tondreau-Leve's lawyer, Greg Eisenmenger, said his client ran a business on Craigslist that involved the sale of baby formula, but she didn't know the formula was stolen. "They never informed her it was stolen," Eisenmenger told The Ledger during a break in the trial in July. "People stole the formula, sold the formula to people in other areas then sold it to her." In 2014, Tondreau-Leve, who lived in Melbourne, was arrested after a sting involving the delivery of a truckload of 3,300 cans of formula to a storage facility in Melbourne by undercover agents. Jurors learned during the trial that about $35,000 in cash and 3,000 cans of formula worth about $200,000 were recovered. Stolen cans of Enfamil and Similac were sold for an average of $6 to local "fences" who then sold them to a regional buyer for shipment to out-of-state distributors, according to reports at the time of the arrest in July 2014.

Woodstock, GA: 4 Arrested in $100,000 Shoplifting Ring Tied Outlet Shoppes in 5 states
Police in Edinburgh, Indiana, on Thursday, Aug. 4 arrested four Tennessee residents. Each suspect has been tied to high-dollar thefts at outlet malls in at least five states, including Georgia. Police say the thefts, resulting in the loss of merchandise collectively worth more than $100,000, kicked off in June of this year. True Religion at the Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta in Woodstock was targeted on June 27, and merchandise worth more than $19,000 was stolen, Woodstock police note. On July 13, the same group allegedly shoplifted from Adidas and Polo stores in Woodstock where more than $11,000 in merchandise was stolen. Woodstock police investigators, working with counterparts with the Calhoun Police Department, were able to identify the suspect responsible for the thefts in their cities as well as similar crimes in surrounding jurisdictions and states.

College Station, TX: Men charged with stealing hundreds of pairs of jeans from JC Penney
A couple of Houston men are charged with stealing jeans from JCPenney stores all over the state, and police say they were caught in the act in College Station. According to Houston police documents, the operation has been happening since 2012 with an "organized group of professional boosters." Police say Ramiro Rodriguez appears to be the leader of the group. Police say they watched Jose del Angel leave the JCPenney at Post Oak--later police found out he left with 134 pairs of allegedly stolen Levi's--and followed him to the Lowe's parking lot, where they say he met up with Rodriguez who helped him load up his trunk with the jeans.

North Attleboro, CT: Former Planet Fitness employee busted in $4,000 iPad thefts from Walmart; 'STAFF' t-shirt gave him away
Police traced a suspect in the theft of five iPads worth almost $4,000 from Walmart through his gym T-shirt that read "Staff" on the back. Jessie Ocasio allegedly confessed to stealing the iPads and selling them on the street for $150 each to feed his heroin habit.

Deerfield, IL: 2 Women arrested in $2,100 thefts of Baby Formula and Diaper from two Jewel Foods
Two women were charged with retail theft July 31 after they were stopped outside Jewel Foods, 16 S. Waukegan Rd., with 66 items valued at $1,373 that had not been purchased. The items included a large quantity of baby formula and diapers. The employee said the store had been alerted by a Jewel Food store in Glenview about two people who had attempted to steal $735 worth of merchandise.

Pair charged in theft of $1256 worth of jewelry, handbags from Belk in Hoover The theft happened on July 13 at Belk. The pair, police said, worked together to take various pieces of Bright jewelry and six Nine West purses. The items totaled $1,256. As they were trying to leave the store, the suspects got into a physical altercation with Loss Prevention employees. Police on July 21 publicized surveillance photos. Investigators said numerous tips came in through Crime Stoppers.

ORC 8-9-16
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