by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. —
The U.S. Attorney's Office has indicted five men accused of running a well-organized and violent robbery ring with possible ties to South America.
Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh uncovered the arrest warrants for Antonio Sanchez-Valencia, Castillo Margarito Valladeras, Jose Ramirez-Rodriguez, Edward Figueroa and Ali Godoy-Maximo more than a week ago. At the time, federal investigators asked her to wait until the group was indicted to report the news.
Investigators have referred to them as a South American Theft Group. The FBI's website defines SATGs as “organizations predominately consisting of Colombian nationals who commit jewelry thefts, burglaries, and robberies.”
According to a Gwinnett County police report, a jewelry courier said he stopped for gas on Buford Drive in May. He said three men pulled up to the pump beside him, threatened him with a knife and reached into his car to grab the case of jewels from under his seat.
The report indicates the alleged victim was transporting about $125,000 worth of jewelry for an Alpharetta shop.
In a separate incident in April, two of the suspects are accused of stealing a computer and purse from a woman's car parked at Duluth shopping plaza on Venture Drive.
It's unclear if the woman was a courier or simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The men are all now in federal custody and have been named in an indictment connected to the alleged robbery of the jewelry courier. It’s unclear how many other crimes the group was tied to.
The suspects are expected in federal court Friday.
No agency would discuss the case publicly.