Man enters plea in case involving ATV thefts throughout SWLA - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Man enters plea in case involving ATV thefts throughout SWLA

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

A Houston man pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to one count of interstate transportation of stolen vehicles, stemming from a case involving a string of ATV thefts throughout Southwest Louisiana.

According to a news release from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Luis B. Calixto Sr., 46, entered his plea in federal court in Lake Charles before U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi.

Calixto and two co-defendants, Shaun Cody Gauthreaux, 28, and Allen Joseph Morehead Jr., 26, both of Kinder, were all charged in December 2011 with conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen motor vehicles.

According to court documents, FBI agents began investigating an organized theft ring involving all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) that were stolen and transported to the home of Calixto in Houston.

The FBI release states that the stolen ATVs were linked to cases in Calcasieu, Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Jefferson, Vernon and Sabine parishes in Louisiana, and Harris, Newton, and Hardin counties in Texas.

Law enforcement identified a total theft of approximately 60 stolen ATVs/outdoor vehicles valued at approximately $363,000.

The thefts reportedly occurred between March 2010 and August 2010.

FBI officials say Calixto's two co-defendants previously pleaded guilty in federal court. Shaun Cody Gauthreaux pleaded guilty on March 19, and Allen Joseph Morehead Jr., pleaded guilty on April 10, both to conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen motor vehicles.

At sentencing, Calixto faces a term of imprisonment of not more than 10 years. Gauthreaux and Morehead face a term of imprisonment of not more than five years. All defendants face a fine of not more than $250,000 and a term of supervised release of up to three years, the release states.

The sentencing date for Calixto is scheduled for Dec. 13. Allen Morehead's sentencing is on Oct. 18 and Shaun Gauthreaux's is Oct. 25.

The case was investigated by the FBI, Lake Charles Resident Agency; Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, Vehicle Crimes Unit; Acadia Parish Sheriff's Office; Allen Parish Sheriff's Office; Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office; Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office; Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office; Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office; Harris County Sheriff's Office; Newton County Sheriff's Office; Hardin County Sheriff's Office; and the Houston Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel J. McCoy.

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