Undercover officers arrested a father and son accused of running a stolen boat operation in southwest Miami-Dade, and authorities believe more arrests are coming from the operation.
Miami-Dade Police officials arrested the father-son duo Monday at a house where they say stolen boats were brought and stripped of their pricey parts, which were then sold on the black market.
The pair, identified as William Baez-Cartalla, 48, and William Baez-Valdes, 22, face numerous charges including grand theft, burglary and racketeering.
The investigation into the case began in April, and at least five more arrests were expected, Miami-Dade Police Lt. Michael Barrios said.
Barrios said the group would steal a truck they could use to tow the stolen boats, then drove around looking for mostly twin motor vessels to take. The stolen boats were stripped of expensive parts and then dumped. A boat's GPS system that would normally cost $5,000 would be sold illegally for about $2,500, Barrios said.
At least nine boats were stolen by the suspects, and another four attempts were made, Barrios said. Five trucks were also stolen by the crew.
"It has a far reach, especially being South Florida, we're surrounded by water, so it's got a big impact," Barrios said. "It's a big problem."
Barrios said the father and son were the heads of the operation.
"These gentlemen were the leaders and organizers," Barrios said. "Today we got the guys at the top, but we do have other people they used to further their crime that we will be arresting as well."