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Three sentenced to prison for roles in theft ring

Three Cuban immigrants were sentenced to lengthy federal prison terms Friday for taking part in a major Las Vegas-area theft ring.

The three defendants — Alexis Torres Simon, 47; Julio De Armas Diaz, 55; and Alexander Del Valle Garcia, 43 — were convicted by a jury in May of stealing drugs and expensive merchandise from delivery vans and warehouses around the valley, as well as planning the robbery of a delivery van driver.

Their charges included conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery and conspiracy to commit theft from interstate shipment.

U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey sentenced Simon to 16 years in prison, Diaz to nearly 11 years and Garcia to eight years.

Dorsey also sentenced all three defendants to three years of supervised release after prison, and ordered Simon and Diaz to share in paying more than $500,000 in restitution.

During the two-week trial, federal prosecutors singled out the undercover work of Yordani Corona Del Toro, a six-time felon who helped the FBI break up the theft ring.

Del Toro, 24, also a Cuban immigrant, secretly recorded Simon and Diaz planning the robbery and kidnapping of the delivery van driver, who was hauling pharmaceutical drugs, according to trial testimony.

Simon and Diaz were taken into custody April 8, 2013, as they were about to carry out the robbery scheme, the testimony showed. Garcia was arrested several days later.

Agents assigned to the FBI’s organized crime squad linked the three defendants to the Oct. 15, 2012, warehouse theft of $573,756 in Coach merchandise, mostly purses, in southeast Las Vegas.

Members of the theft ring also broke into unattended delivery vans to steal drugs and other goods, prosecutors said.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135. Find him on Twitter @JGermanRJ

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