SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - Nearly 300 iPhones that were seized by Custom and Border Protections (CBP) were stolen from a warehouse located in the Dayton section of South Brunswick. Joel Cruz, age 27 from Franklin Park, pleaded guilty by video conference before the US District Court to theft from an interstate or foreign shipment, according to a press release from the Somerset County Prosecutor's office.
In November 2014, CBP seized approximately 14 boxes, containing 628 iPhones, from Boston Logan International Airport. All the boxes were shipped from the United States, and were en route to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. After their seizure, the boxes were consolidated into six containers, each containing a unique shipping code, and were shipped and delivered to the Dayton warehouse.
The Dayton warehouse was contracted with the Treasury Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture (TEOAF), a federal agency, to provide services regarding the management of property seized by CBP, including storage. Between Jan. 9, 2015, and Feb. 2, 2015, Mr, Cruz, who was contracted to work at the warehouse, stole an estimated 292 iphones valued at $218,372. He removed the iPhones from the warehouse on separate occasions by concealing them in his pants, boots, and jacket, according to prosecutors.
Cruz is currently facing a criminal penalty of a maximum 10 years in prison and a $250,000 or twice the amount of the pecuniary gain or loss from the offense. The press release does not specify which warehouse Cruz stole from in the Dayton area.