owners of Atland Recycling Inc. have been cleared of any
wrongdoing in a stolen property case, but they said their
ordeal has been heart wrenching.
Oscar Rodriguez and
his wife, Lizabeth, owners of the Okeechobee, Fla., scrapyard,
were arrested last September and charged with dealing in stolen
amm.com, Oct. 2). They were taken to jail until
they were able to arrange bond.
"I came here from Cuba
to escape life like this," Oscar Rodriguez said. "I would never
have believed that somebody could put someone in jail in the
United States for no reason. The guy who stole the stuff never
went to jail but I went to jail. This is incredible."
The case was tossed
out by a Florida circuit court judge July 23 after the
prosecutor dropped the charge. No reason was given.
The couple told
AMM that the incident should never have happened
because there was no evidence suggesting wrongdoing in their
purchase of a trailer. They were accused of concealing the
vehicle identification numberbut one didnt exist,
as it was a homemade trailer that was roughed together out of
themselves to be responsible owners who maintain all records
and have had an open-door policy with law enforcement. Lizabeth
Rodriguez is happy the matter is resolved, but she wont
easily forget the incident. "We follow the law and are based on
honesty and good service. Yet for eight months I was treated
like a criminal. This has been very sad," she said.