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Men indicted in connection with stealing semitrailer full of shoes

Men indicted in connection with stealing semitrailer full of shoes

(Utah Highway Patrol)


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SALT LAKE CITY — Two men were indicted Wednesday in federal court after police located them in Utah driving a stolen semitruck full of shoes, according to the Utah Department of Justice.

The semitruck was reported stolen from Multnomah County, Oregon, on March 23 and an attempt to locate the vehicle was sent by police to the surrounding states, according to a Utah Department of Justice news release. Utah Highway Patrol said the drivers allegedly tried to block the GPS signal the truck was sending out, but the trucking company was able to track it to Utah.

The stolen truck was located by Utah Highway Patrol troopers at a Texaco truck stop in Box Elder County on March 24. The semitrailer was full of 5,820 pairs of Keen Shoes estimated at more than $1 million, UHP said.

Juan Carlos Andino-Mejia, age 24, of Los Angeles, a citizen of Honduras, and Marlon Emilio Vasquez-Garcia, age 45, of Los Angeles, a citizen of El Salvador, were arrested at the scene. Neither had documents to confirm their identities and they gave investigators "some vague information" about how they came to be in possession of the semitrailer and what they planned to do with it, according to the UHP.

The men were charged Wednesday in connection with interstate transportation of stolen property and re-entering the country after a previous deportation.

Andino-Mejia and Vasquez-Garcia have both used a variety of names and had multiple deportations from the United States, the Department of Justice said. Andino-Mejia used the alias "Jose Gonzales-Pineda" when he was arrested by UHP troopers.

Both men could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of both charges. Initial court dates are pending for Andino-Meja and Vasguez-Garcia.

Contributing: Ben Lockhart

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