An Amtrak employee was accused on March 8 of stealing chainsaws and chainsaw parts valued at more than $50,000 from Amtrak and reselling them, primarily through an online auction service.
Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced on March 9 that Jose Rodriguez, 48, of Brick, is charged by complaint with one count of theft from an agency receiving federal funds and one count of theft of government property.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Rodriguez has been an Amtrak employee since October 2007, most recently as a senior engineer and repairman, based out of an Amtrak facility in North Brunswick.
Between August 2016 and July 2020, Rodriguez allegedly obtained 77 chainsaws, 103 bars,and 163 chains from Amtrak, the total value of which was over $50,000, according to the statement.
Rodriguez allegedly used an online auction service to sell most of the Amtrak chainsaws and parts to purchasers throughout the United States. Rodriguez also allegedly directly contacted one purchaser on multiple occasions offering to sell chainsaws and parts the day before or the same day that Rodriguez picked up chainsaws and parts from Amtrak, according to the allegations.
Agents reportedly recovered several chainsaws that Rodriguez sold, which had serial numbers matching Amtrak’s chainsaws. One of those chainsaws had previously been reported stolen by Amtrak, according to the statement.
The offenses charged in the complaint each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and maximum fine of $250,000.