Florida Gold Theft: Accused Man Apprehended In BelizeBy: Val Powell - May 8, 2014
On Wednesday, the U.S. Marshalls Service reported that they have Cuban fugitive Raonel Valdez-Valhuerdis in custody at the Miami-Dade County Jail.
Valhuerdis was the man suspected of stealing over a hundred pounds of gold that amounted to almost $3 million. He stole the gold in South Florida and was caught in Belize.
According to a report from the authorities, Valhuerdis, 34, and two other men stole the gold from a Bolivian export company employee while he was outside a Coral Gables apartment building. The incident happened on October 2012.
Valhuerdis was arrested then later set free on $75,000 bail a few months after. Police were able to track Valhuerdis’ whereabouts after the robbery through a GPS monitor that he was required to wear on his ankle from an unrelated charge.
However, he disappeared when the authorities lost track of his GPS monitor.
Valhuerdis first came to the United States in 2005. He was able to get an official driver’s license and a Social Security card in the state of Florida because of the Cuban Adjustment Act, which states that immigrants from the island who enter the United Stated are granted a nearly-guaranteed legal status. After obtaining his legal documents, Valhuerdis started his life of crime.
His first offense was back in 2007 when he was charged with marijuana possession. He got out of jail on parole, but was again apprehended by the authorities the following year when 85 grams of methamphetamine was discovered hidden under his car’s hood. That same year, he was arrested for assaulting security guards with a weapon in the midst of trying to steal garden shears at a Home Depot branch.
Valhuerdis got in trouble time-after-time, being involved in several crimes, such as human smuggling, kidnapping, heading a marijuana growing operation, and armed robbery. He was also involved in domestic violence, as he reportedly abused the mother of his child.
He was found at the Belize border and jailed at the Hattieville Prison in Belize before being transferred to the United States.
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