Law enforcement officials have arrested three men in connection with a suspected crime ring responsible for stealing $9 million worth of processed and frozen beef and pork from the Upper Midwest over the last 18 months.

The three men arrested in Miami last week, Yoslany Leyva Del Sol, Ledier Machin Andino and Delvis Fuentes, are suspects in an ongoing investigation into the theft of as many as 45 truckloads of meat from facilities in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and Wisconsin since June 2021.

According to Lancaster County (Nebraska) Sheriff Terry Wagner, whose department worked with Homeland Security (HSI) on the case, the thieves looked for areas where refrigerated trailers were filled and staged for transport, then “they would just drive in, hook up to a trailer and take off. We were very surprised how brazen and wide scale it was,” Wagner said. 

Three trailers were recovered during the arrest of the three men Oct. 20, containing merchandise valued at $550,000. As of now, “this investigation is ongoing and part of the HSI Omaha and Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Task Force,” HSI said.