A ring that stole and recycled more than $100,000 worth of plastic milk crates was smashed when investigators raided an Englewood Cliffs home and two Fairfield business addresses while arresting a Hackensack man and seven Passaic County associates, authorities said today.
“The operators use stolen crates, reconfigure them and resell them for profit,’’ said Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Nicole Buermann, whose office lead the investigation. “Industry experts say these thefts cost stores millions annually.
Investigators recovered plastic totes and soda pallets stolen from Rite Aid, CVS, Pepsi, Walgreens – even the U.S. Postal Service – all marked with the rightful owner’s company name and a warning against their unauthorized use or theft. All were seized at a pair of Fairfield facilities operated by a company called Farmplast.
Both received the stolen items around the clock from a crew of thieves who operated in New York and New Jersey, Essex authorities said.
Fairfield police had secured the facilities after the search warrants were executed, in fact, when four separate trucks filled with stolen totes pulled up.
Arrested and charged with receiving stolen property were Alfredo DeDios, 53, of Hackensack, Richard Ferreria, 32, of Haledon, and six Paterson men: Armando DeDios, 29, Fernando Marzan, 20, Elvis Fermin, 20, Luis Hernandez, 24, Michael Malave, 19 and Victor Tejada Jr.
Additional charges are expected as the two-month investigation continues, authorities said.
Murray praised Buermann, ECPO Detective Patrick Todd and Fairfield Detective Sgt. Charles Zampino for “outstanding” work on the case.
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