MIAMI (AP/WNCN) – Federal prosecutors have formally charged a fugitive in the 2015 robbery of a tractor-trailer carrying almost $5 million in gold bars.
U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami announced Thursday that 56-year-old Pedro Santamaria has been indicted on robbery and gun charges. The FBI is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to his arrest and conviction.
Authorities say Santamaria, Adalberto Perez and Roberto Cabrera caused noxious fumes to fill the cabin of the TransValue Inc. truck that was transporting gold bars from Miami to Boston.
Two armed robbers removed and bound the TransValue employees and then transferred the gold bars to their vehicle and fled.
Cabrera was previously sentenced to nearly 20 years for the robbery, and Perez received more than 11 years.
Investigators say pepper spray was released by remote control to sicken the driver and a passenger before the robbery along Interstate 95 in Wilson County, North Carolina.
The thieves made off with 275 pounds of gold bars worth $4.8 million.
One man, Miguel Bover, was already sentenced in 2015 to more than three years in prison for his involvement in the attempted sale of a gold bar stolen during the heist.
Bover pleaded guilty in July 2015 to an attempted extortion charge after his cellphone was used to make threats when the sale fell through.
Bover was not involved in the robbery. But Bover admitted that he agreed to help unidentified people he knew sell one bar, seeking assistance from a Miami-area pawn shop owner.
The FBI was alerted when the pawn shop owner brought a gold bar to a metals refinery.