According to officials from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and East Brunswick Police Department, 33-year-old Sayreville resident Fernando Rios was arrested on Tuesday, September 12th in connection with the alleged theft of numerous medical records. Specifically, Rios is accused of breaking into a storage unit in East Brunswick that contained over 1,000 medical records from the medical practice of three doctors from Somerset and East Brunswick.
A coordinated investigation among members of Homeland Security Investigations, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, and East Brunswick Police Department led to Rios, who allegedly stole the medical records and sold the personal information they contained.
The investigation is ongoing but Rios has been charged with one count of second degree identity theft, one count of second degree trafficking in personally identifying information, and one count of third degree burglary. He is now facing serious penalties, including a lengthy prison sentence.
Burglary is the least serious of the charges against him, as it is typically a third degree crime in New Jersey in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2. A third degree criminal charge in punishable by between 3 and 5 years in NJ State Prison. Notably, a charge for burglary can be elevated to a second degree crime if the defendant had a weapon, injured, or threatened anyone during the course of the offense.
As for the second degree crimes in this case, identity theft is a very serious offense codified in N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17. A second degree charge for identity theft applies in cases where the defendant is accused of stealing the identities of more than 5 victims or obtaining financial gain of more than $75,000. A conviction for second degree identity theft exposes you to between 5 and 10 years of incarceration, in addition to fines, and potential restitution payments to the victim(s).
For additional information regarding this case, access the following article: Man charged with selling medical records