The ventilators, valued at $3 million and belonging to the US Agency for International Development, were taken in South Florida, according to a news release issued by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida on Friday.
Yoelvis Denis Hernandez, 42, aka “Guajiro,” and Luis Urra Montero, 25, aka “Flaco,” pled guilty to stealing government property. According to the news release, Montero was sentenced this week, while Hernandez was convicted in December.
According to court filings, on Aug. 9, 2020, the two stole a tractor laden with 192 medical ventilators that were being carried to Miami International Airport.
The ventilators were purchased by USAID and were on their way to El Salvador to be used to treat critically ill patients.
Hernandez and Montero, according to prosecutors, took the trailer from a parking lot where the driver had parked it overnight. The majority of the stolen ventilators were recovered after an inquiry by federal officials.