Million Dollar Powdered Baby Formula Theft Ring Busted

By  //  July 3, 2014

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ABOVE VIDEO:  Brevard County Sheriff’s Agent Todd Holland details his 18-month investigation of a million dollar theft ring that stole powdered infant formula from Central Florida retailers.

Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Jails Alicia Ann Tondreau-Leve After 18-Month Investigation 

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrested of Alicia Ann Tondreau-Leve, 49, of after an 18-month investigation of a million dollar theft ring that stole powdered infant formula from Central Florida retailers.

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office announced the arrested of Alicia Ann Tondreau-Leve, 49, after an 18-month investigation of a theft ring that netted millions of dollars by stealing powdered infant formula from Central Florida retailers. (BCSO image)

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrested of Alicia Ann Tondreau-Leve, 49, after an 18-month investigation of a theft ring that netted millions of dollars by stealing powdered infant formula from Central Florida retailers. (BCSO image)

Also arrested in connection with the investigation were Guilyanna Guzman of Orlando and Alexis Lyn Dattadeen of New Port Richey. All three suspects will be charged with Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering. 

The suspects are accused of stealing baby formula from Publix, Walmart, Winn-Dixie and Target stores across Central Florida.

Guilyanna Guzman

Guilyanna Guzman

According to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, beginning in February 2013, Brevard County Sheriff’s Agent Todd Holland initiated the investigation into the theft of brands of powdered infant formula.

After conducting extensive interviews with the suspects, agents were able to glean that the thefts occurred regularly in Brevard County and the recently stolen products were then sold to a buyer at a substantially lower price than the listed retail value.

As more information was being gathered, it was revealed that this specific group had been operating throughout the entire State of Florida.

As Agent Holland furthered his investigation, it became apparent that the property was being stolen from local retailers and sold to an organized crime group based in Brevard County.

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office identified a group of lower level thieves, referred to as “boosters” who were apprehended while conducting thefts of significant amounts of powdered infant formula.

The suspects are accused of stealing baby formula from Publix, Walmart, Winn-Dixie and Target stores across Central Florida.

The suspects are accused of stealing baby formula from Publix, Walmart, Winn-Dixie and Target stores across Central Florida.

After conducting extensive interviews with the suspects, agents were able to glean that the thefts occurred regularly in Brevard County and the recently stolen products were then sold to a buyer at a substantially lower price than the listed retail value.

This buyer was identified and agents began to collect evidence.

According to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, it was determined Tondreau-Leve, who lives in Viera, was the leader of this group and maintained an illegal and elaborate scheme, which included the specific products she desired to purchase along with a payment schedule for each product.

As Agents continued the investigation, it was apparent that Tondreau-Leve’s scheme involved multiple jurisdictions within Florida, along with a variety of businesses throughout the state.

Wayne Ivey

Sheriff Wayne Ivey

“This case exemplifies the importance of partnerships in law enforcement and the benefits of good old fashion police work,” said Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. 

“By working together we are able to remove major criminal enterprises from our streets and put them behind bars where they belong.”

ALL-ENCOMPASSING COOPERATIVE EFFORT

As a result, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office began a joint investigation with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. This subsequently created an all-encompassing cooperative effort along with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Statewide Prosecutor of the Florida Attorney General’s Office along with the affected retailers.

Brevard County Sheriff's Agent Todd Holland initiated the investigation into the theft of powdered infant formula. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

Brevard County Sheriff’s Agent Todd Holland initiated the investigation into the theft of powdered infant formula. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

The combined efforts of each office assisted in identifying more than forty people involved in the organized scheme with an approximate loss to Florida retailers totaling $1 millon. These groups of individuals were vetted through a recruiting process that involves internet ads and social media.

The boosters were seen as far north as Jacksonville and as far south as West Palm Beach.

On Wendesday, the investigation was successfully concluded as Agents with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and the State Wide Prosecutor’s Office converged at a meeting place where Tondreau-Leve was conducting another transaction.

This success of this investigation first can be directly attributed to the initial efforts of Brevard County Agent Todd Holland with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. Agent Holland’s investigation resulted in identifying the boosters and subsequently obtained the identity of the organization leader – Tondreau-Levee.

According to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, this transaction was by far the largest she had attempted and involved a quantity of product in excess of $100,000, in exchange for $35,000 in cash.

Tondreau-Leve was placed under arrest for active warrants out of Polk County and transported to the Brevard County Jail. The product was recovered as was the cash she was providing for the product.

This success of this investigation first can be directly attributed to the initial efforts of Agent Holland with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. Agent Holland’s investigation resulted in identifying the boosters and subsequently obtained the identity of the organization leader – Tondreau-Levee.

This prompted the immediate response of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and assisted with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office investigation into similar crimes involving their local retailers at the hands of Tondreau-Leve and her associates.

According to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, the successful culmination of this effort can be attributed to the professionalism and teamwork of each law enforcement agency and the Office of the Statewide Prosecutor.

Tondreau-Leve remains held at the Brevard County Jail in lieu of $65,000 bail with a Nebbia Hold on charges of  Conspiracy to Engage in Racketeering, and Dealing in Stolen Property (organized). 

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