Man Tries To Buy 675 Starlink Dishes With Stolen Credit Cards, Gets Caught

35-year-old Kelvin Rodriguez-Moya of Newark, New Jersey, has been arrested and charged with receiving and trafficking stolen property after allegedly using stolen credit cards to purchase 675 Starlink dishes from SpaceX. Lawrence Township police initiated an investigation after receiving a tip about suspiciously large shipments to a residence in December.

During the three-month probe, detectives observed Rodriguez-Moya loading Starlink Terminals into a vehicle, leading to the recovery of 223 stolen units during a subsequent motor vehicle stop. The total value of the fraudulently obtained terminals exceeds $400,000, making it SpaceX’s largest fraud recovery to date.

Lawrence Township Police Lieutenant Kevin Reading told CNBC, “The trafficking of the terminals is still under investigation.”

It remains unclear what Rodriguez-Moya intended to do with the stolen equipment, though he claimed he was paid $300 to transport them to Newark for resale. Authorities suspect the Lawrence Township location served as a shipping and storage point for the stolen items destined for northern New Jersey.

Given the global demand for Starlink, it’s possible Rodriguez-Moya intended to sell them in regions with limited availability, potentially for a higher profit. However, investigations are ongoing regarding the trafficking destination and the manner in which the terminals were acquired.

This incident coincides with reports of Russian vendors allegedly using Arab suppliers to smuggle Starlink dishes for use in the Ukraine war, though no direct connection has been established. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has denied selling terminals to Russia directly.

Rodriguez-Moya faces charges of receiving and trafficking stolen property, with a detention hearing scheduled for Friday. In a recorded interview with police, Rodriguez-Moya mentioned coming into contact with an individual named “Alberto” through mutual friends, who suggested the shipping address. The investigation continues in collaboration with SpaceX to determine the origins of the purchased terminals and any further involvement in the trafficking scheme.

“He vaguely described that he came into contact with ‘Alberto’ through mutual friends and that he suggested the address” on Roxboro Road for the shipment, the complaint said.

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