Men who stole ventilators meant for critically ill COVID-19 patients in El Salvador sentenced

MIAMI — Two men who pleaded guilty to stealing medical ventilators worth about $3 million have been sentenced to serve 41 months in prison, authorities announced Friday.

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Yoelvis Denis “Guajiro” Hernandez, 42, and Luis Urra “Flaco” Montero, 25, pleaded guilty last year to theft of government property. A judge sentenced Montero on Wednesday. Hernandez had been sentenced in December, prosecutors said.

Court records show that on Aug. 9, 2020, Hernandez and Montero stole a tractor-trailer from a lot in southern Florida where it had been left overnight. The vehicle was loaded with 192 medical ventilators owned by the U.S. Agency for International Development and meant to be transported to Miami International Airport. The ventilators were bound for a COVID-19 intensive care facility in El Salvador as part of a U.S. COVID-19 aid program, officials said.

Authorities later recovered most of the stolen ventilators, according to prosecutors.

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