Truck driver accused of trading load of vitamins for $10,000 in cash

Houston man arrested Feb. 17, faces charge of grand larceny in 2013 theft

Jose Hernandez-Riandes is accused of trading his load of vitamins in exchange for $10,000 in cash that he never received.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A Houston man was arrested earlier this month after he swapped a load of vitamins worth $300,000 in Belle Glade in exchange for $10,000 in cash that was never paid, authorities said.

Jose Hernandez-Riandes, 54, formerly of Hialeah, was arrested Feb. 17 on a charge of grand larceny stemming from the 2013 theft.

According to a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office report, Hernandez-Riandes was working as a truck driver when he reported the load -- 16,000 pounds of various vitamins in bulk packaging -- stolen to the Broward Sheriff's Office on May 26, 2013. The truck and trailer were recovered the same day in Hollywood, but the cargo was missing.

Detective Walter Robinson wrote in the report that Hernandez-Riandes was "evasive in his answers" and gave "several inconsistencies" in his statement.

Hernandez-Riandes later told the owner of the trucking company that he gave the load to a man he knew only as "Marchette," the report said. Hernandez-Riandes said the load was transferred to another tractor-trailer in Belle Glade, the report said.

Two days later, the owner of the trucking company told detectives that Hernandez-Riandes wanted to cooperate with them in recovering the load. Hernandez-Riandes told detectives that he had met with Marchette about a month before the incident and, after a few more meetings, agreed to give up his load on his next trip, the report said.

Hernandez-Riandes said that after he picked up the load in New York, he drove to Belle Glade and met with Marchette, who transferred the vitamins to another tractor-trailer while Hernandez-Riandes drove his truck to the Hollywood truck stop where it was found, the report said.

When he was asked what happened to the load, Hernandez-Riandes said he agreed to give it up for $10,000 in cash because he needed the money to pay his son's medical bills in Cuba, the report said.

Hernandez-Riandes said he hadn't received the money from Marchette, the report said.

He was being held Tuesday in a Belle Glade jail on $250,000 bond.

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