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Miami-Dade County men arrested for their role in a Virginia cigarette heist, cops say

Miami Herald

Two Miami-Dade County men are in jail awaiting extradition to Virginia in connection with a huge cigarette heist there last month.

Alberto Rico Perez, 31, of Miami Gardens and Ramon Izquierdo, 57, of Hialeah were arrested Friday by the Miami-Dade County Fugitive Task Force and Doral Police Department, according to officials.

Police in Culpeper, Virginia, say the men were among a crew of five thieves who burglarized the Merchants Grocery Company on March 23.

They forced their way inside the building and stole an undisclosed amount of cigarette cartons, Officer Julia Cole with the Culpeper Police Department said in a statement.

The men then stole a box truck from the business and left town, Cole said.

Both are being held without bond at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Facility. Soon come, they’ll be sent back to Virginia on charges of burglary, felony conspiracy to commit burglary and two counts of grand larceny.

“The actions these criminals took in our Town had a significant impact on the local business community,” Culpeper Chief C. Settle said. “Utilizing emerging technology and dogged investigative determination, our detectives and analyst worked tirelessly with law enforcement agencies and federal partners along the entire East Coast. Technology has become an integral part of modern policing, but it’s the men and women behind the technology that truly make it effective. Thank you to our partner agencies for their on-going assistance and cooperation.”

The multi-agency investigation included the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and police agencies in Florida, New Jersey, New York, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina.

As probe into the break in continues, Cole said more people may be arrested.

According to Miami-Dade County court records, Izquierdo has a lengthy criminal record in South Florida that includes a 2022 conviction for cocaine trafficking.

Police ask anyone with information about the case to call Detective M. Hays at 540-829-5508 or email Callers who wish to remain anonymous can submit tips by calling Culpeper Crime Solvers at 540-727-0300 or submit tips at

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