All Of The Defendants In The $572,000+ Ventura County Fairgrounds Heist Have Now Been Sentenced
Friday October 13, 2023
Updated---All of the defendants in the burglary and theft of more than $572,000 from the Ventura County Fairgrounds on the night of August 10, 2022 have now been sentenced including the person that prosecutors say was the "inside man".
(Rafael Morales and Jesus Rios)
56-year-old Rafael Morales of La Puente and 55-year-old Jesus Rios of El Monte, were sentenced Friday to 3-years-and 6 months in prison each after earlier pleading guilty to Misappropriation of Public Money, Commercial Burglary, Grand Theft, and Conspiracy.
They also admitted 16 special allegations regarding the theft from the fair administration building at 10 West Harbor Boulevard.
Another defendant, 44-year-old Carlos Aranda of Los Angeles, who was the getaway driver, was sentenced Friday to a year in the Ventura County Jail and two years of felony probation after earlier pleading guilty to Misappropriation of Public Money and admitting two special allegations.
They all join the man prosecutors say was the "inside man", 28-year-old Alexander Piceno of Baldwin Park, who was sentenced to three years in prison last June after earlier pleading guilty to Misappropriation of Public Money, Commercial Burglary, and Conspiracy.
They say that it was Piceno who worked for the company hired to count the money and prepare it to be picked up by the armored car company.
Prosecutors say it was Piceno who hatched the plan and recruited the other members to commit the crime.
It was Piceno who had access to the administration office and safe where the money was kept.
The stolen money was never found but all four defendants have been ordered to pay that money back.