A Texas couple was sentenced to federal prison and ordered to pay more than $2 million in restitution after being convicted of orchestrating an elaborate statewide commercial truck tire theft ring.
Joel Vargas, 34, and Angelica Vargas, 39, of San Antonio, were sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on Jan. 9, after a jury convicted them in March 2019 for their roles in a major tire theft conspiracy.
Joel Vargas was sentenced to more than 19 years in prison on two counts of interstate transportation of stolen property, as well as conspiracy to transport stolen property in interstate commerce and tampering with a witness, according to prosecutors.
He has also been ordered to pay nearly $1.3 million in restitution.
Angelica Vargas, 39, was sentenced to five years in federal prison after being convicted of conspiracy to transport stolen property in interstate commerce. She has been ordered to pay nearly $1.1 million in restitution.
A total of seven individuals have been convicted as part of the commercial tire theft ring. Over a 15-year period, prosecutors said, the ring targeted more than 100 tire stores or concrete and gravel yards. More than 50 U-Haul trucks were stolen and used to transport the commercial truck tires once they were purloined from various sites in Texas.
“This was a major theft ring that cost businesses a very large amount of money,” said U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown in a news release. “They operated all over the state of Texas.”