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Miami man sentenced in theft of military laptop computers from Brandon warehouse

TAMPA — A Miami man who stagged the biggest cargo heist in Hillsborough County history was sentenced Tuesday to four years and nine months in federal prison.

In March 2010, Rolando Coca Alvarez led a group of thieves who rappelled into an east Hillsborough warehouse and lifted $7.4 million in military laptop computers from iGov Technologies.

The computers didn't contain sensitive information, authorities said.

For months, the men avoided arrest. But a McDonald's restaurant drive-through surveillance video helped crack the case.

Detectives found the red Lincoln Navigator they were looking for, and the time stamp matched. South Florida authorities quickly recognized the face of Coca, who they say is the head of a Miami crime family.

He was indicted in December 2010 and arrested in South Florida on Jan. 25. He later pleaded guilty to a count of theft of government property.

He was sentenced Tuesday and will have to serve 3 years of probation after his prison sentence and pay $2.8 million in restitution.

Times news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at or (813) 226-3433.

Miami man sentenced in theft of military laptop computers from Brandon warehouse 12/06/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 11:06pm]
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