Pensacola is not the only Florida city with a car smuggling problem.

On March 24, the FBI and local law enforcement arrested 13 individuals in Tampa and Miami, Florida and Chicago, Illinois without incident. Four individuals are still being sought by authorities in connection with OPERATION DUAL IDENTITY.

This is from the press release:

OPERATION DUAL IDENTITY was a joint agency automobile theft and car-cloning investigation which involved the assistance of approximately 50 different law enforcement and private sector agencies throughout the United States. The case was led by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the United States Attorney’s Office – Middle District of Florida, and the FBI.

“This case alone has uncovered estimated losses of more than $27 million dollars – this type of crime has a significant economic impact on average citizens and companies. We remain committed to pursuing these types of offenses and those who think they can get away with it,” said Special Agent in Charge Steven Ibison, FBI Tampa Field Office.

U.S. Attorney A. Brian Albritton congratulated the FBI and the many agencies for the successful investigation and stated, “Those being prosecuted face some very stiff penalties if convicted. Pablo Barrio of Tampa is facing a maximum sentence of 184 years. His son, Edel Barrio is looking at 99 years in federal prison. The second ringleader from Miami, Eduardo Izquierdo-Marquez, is facing 190 years. Those individuals in Mexico who made the counterfeit documents are facing long sentences as well. We want to send a clear message to those who may be involved in similar operations; the penalty is great if you are caught and convicted.”

The individuals that were arrested during the morning sweep were identified as:

* Pablo Barrio, a/k/a “Tito, 54 years old, Cooper’s Pond Apartments, 6225 North Dale Mabry Highway, Building 10, Unit 1003, Tampa, Florida;
* Edel Barrio, a/k/a “Eddie” and “Hueso,” 26 years old, 6915 Hubert Avenue, Tampa, Florida;
* Ramon Blanco, a/k/a “Gallego,” 46, incarcerated – Illinois;
* Carlos Thomas Diaz, 39 years old, incarcerated – Florida;
* Frank Samuel Ferrera, 29 years old, 17357 Madison Green Drive, Tampa, Florida;
* Ovidio Hernandez, a/k/a “Ovi,” 47 years old, 5742 South California, Chicago;
* Adiel David Lopez, 21, 2513 West Beach Street, Tampa, Florida;
* Roberto Ontivero-Artal, a/k/a “Papito,” 39 years old, incarcerated – New Jersey;
* Alvan Perez-Cano, a/k/a “El Tigre,” 45 years, 5314 Mile Stretch Drive, Apartment C, Holiday, Florida;
* German Rodriguez, 50 years old, 3337 North Kedzie, Chicago, Illinois;
* Javier Solis, 42 years, 2338 North Melvin, Chicago, Illinois;
* Miguel Angel Gonzalez, a/k/a “Miguelito,” 44 years old, incarcerated – Florida; and
* Nelson Thomas, a/k/a “Nono,” 45 years old, 17330 Northwest 53rd Place, Opa Locka, Florida.