The New York Criminal Law Blog

Organized Criminals Commit Interstate Grand Theft Cardboard

Seriously? If you're going to go through that much trouble, you could at least steal something exciting, like a Maserati or a ton of Apple swag. Despite the absolutely unexciting cargo, the three brilliant men accused of stealing cardboard were pretty impressive, at least as far as thieves go.

According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Neal Devito, 34, John Nichols, 38, and Vincenzo Grasso, 46, were all arrested after their scheme netted more than $100,000 in stolen cardboard. The gentlemen reportedly set up multiple fake companies to transport cardboard that was intended for recyclers. They would pick up the material from stores like Sam's Club and Walmart and instead of delivering to the contracted recyclers, would sell it to companies in New York and New Jersey.

"This group invested a considerable amount of time to create an enterprise with the sole purpose to steal cardboard. There are serious money and organizational skills involved here that could have been used for lawful purposes," stated State Police superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes.

True, but what's the fun in legitimacy? Besides, they either were doing legitimate work on the side or stealing even more cardboard than previously thought, because the Star-Ledger reports that three Cadillac Escalades, purchased in the last few months, were seized by the police. Those things ain't cheap, nor are the two tractor-trailers and three long flatbeds seized by police as well.

So far, the trio have been charged with fencing and conspiracy in New Jersey. Fencing (also known as dealing in stolen property) is a second-degree crime if the amount involved is $75,000 or more. That carries five to ten years in prison, plus whatever penalties arise under the conspiracy charges.

In addition, because these gentlemen were operating in New York and New Jersey, additional charges could be brought in New York or under federal law.

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