HILLSBOROUGH CO., Fla. (WFTS via CNN Wire) -- Hillsborough County deputies recovered more than half a million dollars of stolen tequila Sunday night.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the four suspects were caught red-handed trying to get away with several hundred cases of Patron Tequila.
Vidal Estrada, 66; Lemuel Escobar, 35; Humberto Ramirez, 37; and Alberto Obaya, 46, have been arrested and charged with grand theft, resisting arrest and burglary of an unoccupied conveyance. Obaya faces an additional charge of possession of a controlled substance.
Deputies said that around 11 p.m. Sunday, a truck driver hauling the load of tequila stopped for dinner at a Tampa truck stop on US-301. When he finished his meal, he noticed that his trailer was no longer attached.
Around 12:30 a.m., deputies located the semi-trailer approximately 11 miles from the truck stop. Deputies said the four men were transferring cases of Patron Tequila to another box truck that was registered to them. Before the deputies moved in, the men had transferred over 20 cases from the fully loaded 53-foot trailer. Vidal, Ramirez and Obaya were arrested without issue at the scene. Escobar attempted to flee the scene but was located and arrested nearby.
There were approximately 966 cases of the tequila with a retail value of $507,105. The investigation is ongoing.