Five individuals with “family ties” have been arrested on various fraud charges after filing fraudulent purchase orders with three businesses.
According to the Hobbs Police Department’s arrest reports, Esteban Cantu, James Cobarrubio, Edmundo Ramos, Michelle Sosa and Yanquil Alonzo were all arrested on various felonies and misdemeanors on separate dates spanning from March through May for filing fraudulent purchase orders.
Starting on March 19, officers responded to the 800 block of W. Broadway in reference to a claim of fraud. Upon arrival, officers learned on two separate occasions, two separate males came to the business claiming to pick up orders using purchase orders from a company in Oklahoma. On both of these occasions, the orders were shown to have been fraudulent due to a representative with the company stating the purchases were not authorized.
According to the incident report, the items the suspects picked up were a “Dewalt cordless grinder, a Dewalt cordless impact driver, a gas powered air compressor and a box of smaller items.” The orders were valued at approximately $2,748.*
According to officers, on March 25 they responded again to the 800 block of W. Broadway in reference to the same incident. Employees directed officers to the individual identified as Edmundo Ramos.
Upon questioning, Ramos allegedly told officers the individual he works for goes by the name “Hershey” and according to other interviews this was the name given to Esteban Cantu. According to Ramos, he was allegedly given information about the orders was supposed to pick up and brings them to Cantu. Ramos showed officers where he drops off the items and directed them to a residence located at the 600 block of E. Humble. Upon arrival at the residence, officers observed video surveillance cameras and obtained a warrant for these cameras.
On April 3, officers responded to the residence on the 600 block E. Humble in reference to a recovered trailer. Upon arrival, officers observed a trailer, which had been recently painted white.
According to the report, officers learned the trailer was reported stolen and recovered several items on the trailer to be collected for evidence including a paint sprayer, rubber hose, two cans of spray paint a wiring harness and a red five-gallon bucket.
According to the report, two days later officers responded to a local paint store in reference to a fraud. Officers stated an employee advised them that on April 3, he received a call from a person who identified himself as “Ruben” with a local construction business. The individual ordered more than $970 in painting equipment.
According to the report, two individuals, later identified as Yanquil Alonzo and Michelle Sosa, picked up the items using a purchase order. “Ruben” called saying a “hose and spray nozzle” were missing from the order. The employees told officers another individual, later be identified as Esteban Cantu, came to the store to pick up the hose and spray nozzle.
According to the report, the construction company phoned the paint store to inform them the purchase order was fraudulent and the company was not going to pay for the items.
On April 13, the report states officers allegedly showed a photographic lineup to an employee at the paint store and the employee identified Cantu as “one of the suspects who entered the store and left with the items and the third person which returned to the store because the ‘order’ was not complete.”
Officers, upon learning Cantu’s involvement drove past his east Humble residence and observed a video surveillance system installed on the house.
ON APRIL 26, upon viewing the video surveillance cameras located at the east Humble residence and comparing them to the video feed from the business on Broadway, officers were able to identify James Cobarrubio as an accomplice.
According to the arrest report, officers also allegedly observed Alonzo and Sosa in the video feed unloading items from the paint business into the east Humble residence. Cantu is allegedly “seen then driving the white pickup truck with a later confirmed stolen trailer attached to it,” according to the report.
“The first two subjects seen around the trailer earlier that morning (April 3) was Alonzo and Sosa,” officers explain. “In the video, Alonzo and Sosa, which are seen via video surveillance removing pieces and items from the black trailer and then detaching the trailer from the pickup truck. Cantu is seen opening the makeshift garage and Alonzo moves the trailer into the makeshift garage. The trailer is seen later that day being removed by Cantu, and the trailer is seen to have been painted white.”
On April 28, a photographic lineup was given to the paint store employee and “The employee identified Yanquil Alonzo as one of the suspects who entered the store and left the store with items. Alonzo was identified as one of the two people that picked up most of the order to include the paint sprayer the first time.”
On May 5, another photographic lineup was given to a paint store employee and Sosa was identified bringing the amount of suspected arrested to five.
COBARRUBIO, 34, of Hobbs, was arrested on March 10 and charged with fraud, a fourth-degree felony. Cobarrubio is currently being held on no bond and is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Judge Willie Henry.
Ramos, 55, of Hobbs, was arrested on March 15 and charged with fraud, a fourth-degree felony. Ramos is currently being held on no bond and is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Judge Clipper Miller.
Cantu, 35, of Hobbs, was arrested on April 3 and charged with fraud, a fourth-degree felony, receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony and firearms or destructive devices: receipt, transportation or possession by a felon, a third-degree felony. Cantu is currently being held on no bond and is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Judge Clipper Miller.
Sosa, 46, of Hobbs, was arrested on May 3 and charged with receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony, and fraud, a fourth-degree felony. Sosa is currently being held on no bond and is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Judge Willie Henry.
Alonzo, 19, of Hobbs, was arrested on May 11 and charged with receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony, and fraud a misdemeanor. Alonzo was released on a $2,500 unsecured bond. He is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Judge Willie Henry on June 16.