Back on September 1st, eastern Iowa was left with a lot of questions after semi-trailers full of meat were stolen from a JBS facility using a nearby truck.

On Thursday, September 1st the Ottumwa Police Department was contacted at around 7 a.m. about stolen semi-trailers from a JBS facility. An investigation into the incident found that there had been a semi stolen from the area of JBS which is believed to then been used to take three semi-trailers.

The stolen trailers were already packed and ready for distribution at the time of the theft.

It turns out, this incident was linked to a larger scheme across the upper Midwest.

The Ottumwa Police confirmed with the Ottumwa Courier on Thursday that this incident is related to the arrest of the Miami men involved in 45 heists across 6 states.

The Homeland Security’s Major Crimes Task Force says three men, Yoslany Leyva Del Sol, Ledier Machin Andino, and Delvis L. Fuentes, were arrested and charged in Florida federal court. The three were charged with the transportation of stolen goods and money laundering.

According to the Courier, the list of plants involved was not listed in the charging documents. Investigators called it a "sophisticated organized criminal enterprise" that targeted plants in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The investigation began back in June in Nebraska when several semi-trailers of meat went missing. When the investigation began, the estimated loss was $1 million.

Since June, a Homeland Security Investigation identified around 45 connected thefts throughout the six states totaling a $9 million loss.

On October 20th, the HSI Omaha, Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, and the Florida Highway Patrol, assisted by HSI Miami - El Dorado Task Force South identified and arrested the three men. They were able to recover three tractor-trailers of meat valued at $550,000.

NE Iowa Blogger Sells Beautiful Farm With Cattle

It's unfortunate to watch a neighbor sell their operation, especially someone as loved as Crystal Cattle.

2022 Conservation Farmer Of The Year

Eastern Iowa's Dave Lubben is the 2022 Iowa Conservation Farmer of the year, lets take a look at what his farm has to offer!

More From AM 950 KOEL