Floriduh! Man: The Spirits of the Holiday Edition!

Several Floriduh! Men decided to get into the spirits of the holidays!

Fox 13 Tampa Bay blends up the story for us:

 – Half a million dollars’ worth of tequila was stolen from a truck driver in Hillsborough County, and four men are charged with the crime.

Sheriff’s deputies said a truck driver was heading from Miami to Tampa when his trailer went missing after he went into the Tampa Truck Stop for dinner off U.S. Highway 301 around 11 p.m. Sunday.

“We do know it was organized, and this had been planned because the box truck was there to meet them,” said Danny Alvarez, a spokesperson for Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies arrested Vidal Estrada, Lemuel Escobar, Humberto Ramirez and Alberto Obaya for burglary and other crimes related to the liquor theft. They are accused of detaching and stealing a trailer with 966 cases of Patron tequila inside – worth $507,105 in retail value.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the truck driver went into the truck stop for dinner around 11. The owner of the convenience store told FOX 13 they close their restaurant at 5 p.m. So it’s unclear how long the driver was inside before he noticed his trailer was missing.

Deputies said the driver called to report it missing around midnight.

“When he comes outside, that trailer is gone. His cab is there, but his trailer is gone,” said Alvarez. “So, he calls the police, we respond. We send out aviation. We send out dogs, and we were looking.”

The thieves somehow managed to get roughly 11 miles away to Ike Smith Road and McIntosh Road in Thonotosassa.

“Around 12:30 a.m., we had located the trailer being off loaded into a box truck by four individuals,” Alvarez said.

By the time of their arrests, the suspects had moved 20 cases. Deputies said it was lucky the thieves stayed close by.

“Since it was right there near the highway, that truck could have easily gotten on the highway and headed north, south, east, or west and would have been out of our county in no amount of time,” said Alvarez.

As for the liquor, deputies recovered it all and are figuring out where the tequila was supposed to end up.

Deputies said the truck driver hauling the tequila is working with them to answer any other questions about the crime.

No word on whether they were also in possession of triple sec, limes, and salt.

Open thread.

64 replies
  1. 1
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Either my reading comprehension is shot, or somebody needs a course in expository writing, but from what I can gather, the driver went for dinner about six hours after the restaurant closed. Why?

  2. 2
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Rudy Giuliani @ RudyGiuliani
    According to CNN witches favor Democrats and they are offended that the Meuller investigation is described as a Witch Hunt. There is no reason for the witches to be offended because Witch Hunt derives from,for example,the Salem Witch Hunts where people were executed unjustly.

    absinthe? bathtub gin? mixing cat tranquilizers and Bernie Kerik’s homemade toilet wine?

  3. 3
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: He didn’t realize the restaurant was closed. He went into the truck stop around 11, most likely realized the restaurant was closed, used the facilities, possibly grabbed some junk food, and headed back out to his truck. Given that the thieves only got about 11 miles away, he wasn’t in there long.

  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Dain bramage!

  5. 5
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    “Since it was right there near the highway, that truck could have easily gotten on the highway and headed north, south, east, or west and would have been out of our county in no amount of time,” said Alvarez.

    Well, if they were actually smart, they wouldn’t have been criminals in the first place, but that was pretty fucking stupid. It’s like breaking out of a prison and hanging around at the diner a mile down the road.

  6. 6
    Jeffro says:

    I’m still thinking that driver’s got some ‘splainin to do…seems like he hung around at the not-open restaurant/stop long enough to make sure the bad guys took off with his load of tequila and then reported it in. He’s probably pi$$ed that they didn’t drive hard for 3-4 hours before unloading! But yeah, the driver had to be into it in some fashion.

    Mas tequila!

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: There’s a diner right across the street from the Federal prison at Leavenworth. It’s just west of the Army base.

  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I’m just glad they got this asshole off the street!

  9. 9
    Mike in NC says:

    Looking for our Tampa friends to come up for a week in January as their jobs permit. New restaurants to try. They will buy the wine and I will provide the weed.

  10. 10
    chris says:

    This was a semi? I’m confused, you don’t just “detach” a loaded trailer, you put the legs down, disconnect the air and electric and drive the truck out from under. So did the driver leave the truck unlocked and the keys in the ignition? And, if he did, why didn’t they drive the whole thing away? Something doesn’t smell right.

    ETA: I see Jeffro got there too. I’m thinking, “Take the trailer but leave my truck. I gotta eat.”

  11. 11
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:


    An inside job!

  12. 12
    jl says:

    I dunno about this one. A real Floriduh man story, the thieves would have drunk the goods far into deep inebriation, locked themselves in the semi trailer, and placed an incomprehensible phone call to the cops, begging them to break them out. An alligator would have eaten through the door, and local animal control would have broke the case, but only after the gater, who also somehow got very drunk, knocked one of them out cold.

    And I forgot about the drone, fireworks and x-ray machine.

    Florida losing its touch as the crazy state? An opening for Texas or Missouri? Nevada has talent. Or maybe a chance of California to regain the crown?

  13. 13
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Does it serve a mean apple pie? Every diner worth its salt should serve good pie. Or so I’ve gleamed from the Andy Griffith Show and other cultural signifiers.

    Also, what’s your opinion of Geoff Johns as a writer?

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Trumpism is infectious. No known cure either.

  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: I do not remember.

    I very much enjoyed Johns runs on the Justice Society and on Green Lantern.

  16. 16
    sukabi says:

    Dude, that was gonna be one helluva Margarita Monday.

  17. 17
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’ve heard good things about the JSA runs, from you I believe. I have read that he did a terrible job writing Captain Marvel post-Flashpoint. I’ve gotten the impression he’s a polarizing figure in the comic industry.

    And I was mostly joking about that apple pie comment.

  18. 18
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Seconded re: JSA (did not read his GL run). It was quite a feat, tying together the threads from the past and making them very different and new.

  19. 19
    Jeffro says:

    @chris: Dude knew where and when to show up, and just how long to hang out at this ‘closed’ diner before reporting his truck…er, excuse me…his cargo had been hijacked. Uh-huh.

    When it all comes out, the driver is going to be like, “I can’t believe they were dumb enough to start offloading just a short while away…why not drive it over into Georgia or even North Carolina first?”

    As usual, amateurs talk tactics (and short-sighted logistics)…

  20. 20
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: I didn’t read the Shazam! run. My understanding is that they stripped the character of Billy Batson down and made him something of a streetwise, hard case orphan, which is not really staying true to the character’s history. Specifically that the wizard Shazam chose Billy Batson to wield his power because no matter how much hardship and disappointment he experienced, he never lost hope and never was anything but a good kid. I think that rankled for a lot of people.

  21. 21
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: I’m a huge, long time JSA fan. And given that he was writing it after the multiverse had collapsed in the Crisis event, meaning he had no Earth 2 to work with, or didn’t originally as DC started to reexpand the multiverse about halfway through the run, he did a good job capturing the spirit of the characters and the team even as they existed in the same time and space as the Justice League.

    I liked his GL run. He worked out a way to rehabilitate Hal Jordan and I found his narrative hook of the emotional spectrum interesting.

    I’m not sure that the Nu 52 reboot came off exactly as he envisioned, but apparently the most recent narrative arc changes with DC Rebirth are fixing the continuity issues he created for himself and everyone else when using the Nu 52 reboot to try to clean up continuity and freshen everything up. I honestly have less heartburn with a lot of this stuff than others do. If I find a series enjoyable and readable, then I’m good. I have a deep historical understanding of DC’s continuity, but at the same time I recognize that different creative teams have to try to refresh things every so often as you’ve got, in some cases, over 70 years of history and continuity that can constrict a writer and artistic team’s creativity as much as it gives them a rich backstory to work with.

  22. 22
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    That’s actually pretty spot on from the reactions I read online. Nu52 Batson was described as a “cliched emotard”, who bullied people if he felt they deserved it.

    Also, it’s Geoff John’s fault Superboy-Prime, an interesting concept, was turned into a total psychotic monster.

  23. 23
    Mike J says:

    Should have pulled into a garage.

  24. 24
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I can’t figure out why her co-worker was grabbing HER and trying to pull her away from the customer when she was the one who was being attacked. Were none of her co-workers paying attention to what was going on? Did they think that she had attacked the customer? It seeme to take her co-worker a really long time to figure out that he wasn’t able to pull her away because the customer had grabbed her shirt.

  25. 25
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    You seem to put nearly as much into knowledge of the comic universes as you do into current real world international strategy and cultural affairs.

    I was big into comics in the mid-50-60s era, when they were a dime. But then I realized I could read one in 15 minutes, and the price went up to $0.25 and then to $0.50, etc. So I switched to Ace Double SF for $0.35 as they took longer to read. Then they went up too, but I was hooked already.

    Then I found Heinlein in the libraries, Phillip Jose Farmer, etc, etc.

    I had quite a few of the old classic comics, which my mom threw out while I was in the Navy. Would have been worth something, perhaps, although they were read multiple times and showed some wear. Oh well, lost and gone is lost and gone.

    edit to fix $ amounts…

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I see Cole is enjoying the local amenities during his south Florida vacation:

  27. 27
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: I don’t know. Best I can tell her coworkers thought they were pulling her to safety. Of course she was just peppering the guy in the face with her fists. Given that this is Florida, that guy is lucky he didn’t get perforated by someone standing their ground.

  28. 28
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @J R in WV: I have deep knowledge about the books/characters I’ve read on and off over the years. I go through spurts. And I only ever get the omnibus collections these days. So I get an entire story arc/narrative run in one volume. I also read some very specific fiction authors and I’ve got a backlog of non-fiction stuff, some of it work related, I need to get serious with and actually read.

  29. 29
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Mike J:
    You totally just reminded me of the PS1 game Driver. There was a free drive mode where you could drive around versions of Miami, San Francisco, LA, and NYC set in the 1970s. In the story mode, you played as an undercover cop posing as a wheel man, Tanner.

    It was a driving game, so no character models outside of cutscenes.

    To get to the point of my comment, there was a house in the Miami map where the garage door would open when you’d drive past. You could pull inside and not do much else. However, if you were wanted by police and they saw you in the garage, the door would close and the cop cars would repeatedly ram themselves into the garage until they stopped running, complete with a dying siren noise. Funniest thing in the world. The AI back then was really stupid.

  30. 30
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And I only ever get the omnibus collections these days.

    That’s what I do as well. Is it bad that I’m able to read those six-issue books in like 2 hrs?

  31. 31
  32. 32
    MobiusKlein says:

    @Mnemosyne: It is never easy to react to attacks optimally in real time.
    If her coworkers are trying to help, rather than cowering, good for them.

  33. 33
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:


    I don’t get that either. The video clearly shows the asshole grabbing her. At that point she was just defending herself.

  34. 34
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I didn’t really have anybody else to compare to, so I was curious. Those things cost like $11-17 (from Amazon) each and I enjoy them a lot, but they’re so expensive, especially when I can read through them so fast

  35. 35
    Yutsano says:

    @Adam L Silverman: @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: All I can say is Saint Walker is my jam. Sacrifices everything but never loses hope.

  36. 36
    Mike in NC says:

    Can’t get cheap smokes and guns in Florida? What’s up with that? Stand your stinking ground?

  37. 37
    Barbara says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That was my interpretation as well.

  38. 38
    joel hanes says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    apple pie?

    Good apple pie is pretty easy to find; it’s not much of a distinction.

    Good tart cherry pie is less common.
    And a diner with good strawberry-rhubarb pie, or straight rhubarb pie: that’s a find.

    We used to eat at JoAnn’s in the tiny town of Millerton, Iowa.
    JoAnn herself came in every morning at 4:00 AM and started her day by making a dozen pies, two dozen during the busy season. Invariably all gone by 3:00 in the afternoon when she closed. Laborers all over that county and two adjoining ones would find an excuse to drive through Millerton if they could.
    Gone, now.

    JoAnn was a large woman, in the way that hard-working country women in late middle age often are.
    Her fifteen seconds of national fame arrived when one of Millerton’s young beauties was the Penthouse Pet of the Month, and some reporters went out to Millerton to gauge the local reaction. They interviewed JoAnn, who said
    “Hell, if I had her figure, I’d probably do it myself.”

  39. 39
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    As it happens, Geoff Johns as well as an Ethan Van Sciver created Saint Walker. The Blue Lantern Corp is an interesting concept. I bet Superman could be one.

  40. 40
    ruemara says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Dude, he’s white. Ergo, not a threat.

    Just gauging the reactions, but I am in Seattle – again – because they didn’t have the good sense to ban me from the last time for PodCon. Is there interest in a Juicer meet up and festivating?

  41. 41
    JaySinWA says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Obviously it was the last straw.

  42. 42
    Yutsano says:

    @ruemara: GAH!!! If I didn’t have to watch my budget I could do a pop over. Officially I’m supposed to stay close in case we get recalled in the middle of the work day. BUT OH YE GODS IT’S TEMPTING!!!

  43. 43
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @JaySinWA: lol/well played/delete your account

  44. 44

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷:

    Does it serve a mean apple pie?

    No, but they serve a damn fine cup of coffee, and they’ve got a cherry pie there that’ll kill ya.

  45. 45
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    lol/well played/delete your account

    Didn’t anybody ever tell you not to cross the streams?
    @Sister Golden Bear:

    that’ll kill ya

    Hopefully not literally.

  46. 46
    JaySinWA says:

    @Steve in the ATL: My account appears to be self deleting. Persistent nyms anyone?

  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Lots of jokes today about her bright future in MMA and/or the Dora Milajae, if she can just learn to keep her elbows in when she punches. The Root’s article on this was hysterical.


    Nobody really knows bow they’ll react to that kind of situation until they’re in it, but the reactions of the people arpund her just seemed strangely muted. Like the manager came up and started calmly talking to the guy who had just tried to drag his employee over the counter by her shirt.

    Interestingly, the only two people the guy physically attacked were both women. When he was interacting with the other men, he kept his hands to himself. Funny, that. 🤔

  48. 48
    Yutsano says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: I could see an alternate timeline where a Kryptonian (possibly from Argo) is inducted in the Blue Lantern Corps and gives Supes a bit of an existential crisis. I’m not quite sure how to formulate that story, but having a fellow survivor project hope on the universe and making him less alone would be an interesting story.

  49. 49
    ruemara says:

    @Yutsano: yooooooo should come. budgets are for losers & haters.

  50. 50
    Mike J says:

    @ruemara: I’m up for a meet up.

  51. 51
    VeniceRiley says:

    Lovely photos!
    Florida men are having quite the day. Oh, and truck driver … cb radio “yee haw I’m carrying top shelf!” to a crew, prolly.

    As for PIE, especially apple, my mother makes the best apple pie and pumpkin pie you ever had the good fortune to put in your mouth. When we were in Isfahan while my dad worked for Hughes, one of our Iranian neighbors, Esse Mortazavi (sp?), who owned an Italian restaurant, managed to persuade her to make apple pie for his place “Luigi’s” … happy customers!

  52. 52
    smike says:

    Can’t find the ‘Like’ button on this thing. Soon as I do, I’ll click it.

  53. 53
    BeautifulPlumage says:

    @ruemara: meetup? With Ruemara in town? Name a place, date, time and let’s do this! ( budgets are soooo 2016…have you seen your 401K recently?!?)

  54. 54

    According to the news here, the cashier at McDonald’s was an amateur boxer.

  55. 55
  56. 56
    Yutsano says:

    @ruemara: @Mike J: @BeautifulPlumage: FIIIIINE…if I get stuff worked out with unemployment tomorrow I’ll try to make it on over for a day or two.

  57. 57
    Fair Economist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: 70 years of backstory for a character almost always under 35 inevitably creates problems – even apart from the “do I have to save the universe AGAIN!?” issue. There is an optimal amount of backstory and history for one character, and it’s a lot less than 70 years of collected fiction. IMO for comics it’s usually around 5-10 years.

  58. 58
    Fair Economist says:


    Nobody really knows bow they’ll react to that kind of situation until they’re in it, but the reactions of the people arpund her just seemed strangely muted. Like the manager came up and started calmly talking to the guy who had just tried to drag his employee over the counter by her shirt.

    Sounds like a deescalation strategy to me. It would seem like if somebody wants a straw, there’s probably a way to resolve it without a fight even if the customer has anger management issues.

  59. 59
    CaseyL says:

    @ruemara: It would be sooo great to see you again! Are you staying at the same place as last time?

  60. 60

    @Fair Economist: If the news was accurate and she has a background in boxing, the other worker may have been trying to keep her from beating the customer to a pulp.

  61. 61
    MattF says:

    @Fair Economist: Looking at the video, there was a tussle across the counter and a different (male) employee came around the counter to pull the guy away. I’m guessing that employee was the designated bouncer. You need some planning to deal with physically disruptive/angry customers.

  62. 62
    Dupe1970 says:

    @Jeffro: Bingo!

  63. 63
    Uncle Cosmof says:

    I was under the depression that in FloriDuh the festive season is known as The HollyDuhHeys, & pronounced as written blockprinted… :^p

  64. 64
    Procopius says:

    @Fair Economist:

    It would seem like if somebody wants a straw, there’s probably a way to resolve it without a fight even if the customer has anger management issues.

    Funny, here in Thailand the McDonald’s puts the straws out on the counter with the ketchup and hot sauce (not really hot). I don’t remember if they give straws when they give you your drink, but then I notice the employee’s color and the attacker’s color and think there was a different problem.

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