Tampa car theft ring leader sentenced to 13 years
Apr 7, 2011
The following article was published in the St. Petersburg Times on April 7, 2011:
Tampa Car Theft Ring Leader Sentenced to 13 Years
TAMPA — A federal judge sentenced the leader of a sophisticated car theft ring to 13 years in prison Thursday.
Pablo Barrio, 56, of Tampa pleaded guilty to the conspiracy on Jan. 7.
Prosecutors said Barrio and his co-conspirators stole cars from individuals and dealerships, and took cars from people who wanted to make false insurance claims. The ring would take counterfeit license plates and vehicle identification numbers provided by connections in Mexico and change the information on the vehicles. Barrio’s group would then sell the cars outside of Florida.
The judge also ordered Barrio to pay $2.5 million, the proceeds from the sale of at least 100 cars over a nine-year period prior to March 2009. He is also responsible for $204,000 in restitution.