5 arrested in multistate crime ring led by ‘Willy Wonka’


Massachusetts authorities say they have shut down a multistate ATM and vehicle theft ring run by a career criminal known as Willy Wonka or “the Chocolate Man.”

The six-month investigation that led to five arrests was called Operation Golden Ticket and involved 50 law enforcement agencies.

Forty-seven year-old William “Willy Wonka” Rodriguez was held on $500,000 bail after pleading not guilty Thursday to 60 charges connected to crimes in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut that netted more than $300,000 in property and currency.

Forty-three year-old Nelson Rodriguez was held on $60,000 bail after pleading not guilty to 44 charges. They aren’t related.

A third defendant, 38-year-old Marilyn Santiago, was held on $1,000 bail.

Two suspects– 41-year-old Chepiel “Chep” Sanchez and 41-year-old Ignacio “Iggy” Duran remain at large. 

According to Massachusetts State Police, the indictments handed down as a part of Operation Golden Ticket are in connection with several incidents that took place between February and April, including in western Massachusetts:

February 9, 2018
– Theft of a Jeep Cherokee in Waltham
– Break-in to a Dunkin Donuts in Needham, and theft of an ATM and Currency valued at $3,600
-Break-in to a Gulf Station in Needham.

February 10, 2018:
-Break-in to an Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Portsmouth, NH,
-Theft of a Five Vehicles from Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Portsmouth, NH,
-Break-in to Healthpoint Fitness in Waltham, and theft of a Citizens Bank ATM containing $52,000.

February 19, 2018:
-Theft of a Plymouth Voyager in Fall River
-Break-in to a Verizon Wireless Store in Swansea and theft of over $90,000 in Electronics
-Break-in to United Check Cashing, in Medford and theft of a Safe containing $10,000 in cash
-Break-in to a U-Haul branch in Malden.

February 24, 2018:
-Theft of a Dodge Caravan in Plainfield, Ct.
-Break-in to a Verizon Wireless Store in Plainfield, Ct., and theft of over $35,000 in electronics.

March 3, 2018:
-Theft of a Ford van in West Springfield
-Break-in to a Florence Bank ATM, in West Springfield and theft of approximately $61,000 cash.

March 7, 2018:
-Break-in to a Mobil Station in Hanover and theft of approximately $8,000 in cash.

March 16, 2018:
-Break-in to Doctor Wheels in Yarmouth
-Theft of a Jeep Cherokee in Yarmouth
-Break-in to a Bank of America ATM in Bourne
-Break-in to Ukrainian Federal Credit Union in Westwood and theft of $10,000 cash from an ATM.

March 30, 2018:
-Theft of a Jeep Cherokee in Newburyport
-Break-in to a North Shore Bank ATM in Plaistow, NH
-Break-in to a Speedway in Needham and theft of a safe

April 21, 2018:
-Break-in to a Citizens Bank ATM in Marlborough
-Theft of a Dodge Intrepid in Pawtucket, RI
-Break-in to State Line Convenience in Attleboro and theft of over $10,000 in cigarettes
-Theft of a Ford Van in Attleboro

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