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Four men accused of stealing $500,000 worth of tequila

One tequila, two tequila...966 cases worth of tequila has been recovered by Hillsborough County deputies.

The new year has officially been saved!

Hillsborough deputies recovered more than half a million dollars of Patron Tequila Sunday night in Thonotosassa. 

Deputies say a truck was hauling a load with 966 cases of tequila worth $507,105 when the driver stopped for dinner at a Tampa truck stop around 11 p.m. on U.S. Highway 301. When the driver came back to his truck, he noticed his trailer was no longer attached.

Deputies searched for the stolen tequila and found the semi-trailer around 12:30 a.m. near the intersection of Smith Road and McIntosh Road. Four men were transferring the tequila to a box truck registered to them, according to deputies, and 20 cases were already taken from the trailer when authorities moved in.

Three suspects were arrested without any trouble. Deputies say they were Vidal Estrada, 66, Humberto Ramirez, 37, and Alberto Obaya, 46. 

The fourth suspect, later identified as Lemuel Escobar, allegedly tried to run from the scene, but was found and arrested nearby on McIntosh Road.

Credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

All four suspects face burglary and grand theft charges with a value over $100,000 or more and resisting an officer without violence. Obaya also faces charges of possession of a controlled substance. 

The case is still under investigation.

Cheers to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office for recovering the alcohol!

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