MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Two Hialeah men have been arrested in connection with the heist of 625-thousand dollars in gold bars  from Miami International Airport.

The State Attorney’s Office announced Friday the arrest of Marco Cruz, 47, and Ramses Llufrio, 38. Both men were scheduled for their initial appearance Friday afternoon before a U.S. Magistrate Judge.

The theft took place on May 14th, 2013.  The gold, packed in six boxes, arrived at Miami International Airport just before 5 a.m. on American Airlines flight 902 from Guayaquil, Ecuador.  Flight 902 was a passenger flight which also contained cargo.

After the flight arrived, airline employees removed the cargo, which included the six boxes of gold bars.

When airline employees noticed one box of gold bars was missing, they called police.

Cruz, according to the criminal complaint, works as a Fleet Service Clerk who had access to Flight 902 on the morning of its arrival.

As part of its investigation into the theft, law enforcement interviewed employees at the airline, including Cruz.  Although Cruz initially denied involvement in the theft, he gave investigators permission to search his home.  In his home, police found one of the stolen gold bars and $200,000 in cash.  Cruz later provided law enforcement with an additional $50,000 in cash.

The criminal complaint against Llufrio charges him with receiving one of the stolen gold bars, knowing that it had been stolen.

According to the allegations in the complaint, Llufrio owns a pawn shop located at 548 NW 57th Avenue, in Miami.

The complaint alleges that Cruz delivered a total of five gold bars to Llufrio and received approximately $250,000 in cash as a result.  Llufrio allegedly accepted one of the bars immediately after Cruz informed him that the bar was “hot.”

If convicted, they both face a maximum of ten years in prison.



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