The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office announced today (August 11, 2023) the arrest of 43 year-old Gabrielle Rostran and 29 year-old Elvis Munoz, both of Texas, after a months-long investigation into a Facebook Marketplace scam ended in an undercover operation.
Chief Jimmy Travis says in July of this year, detectives began investigating a theft in which a Tangipahoa Parish resident purchased a vehicle on Facebook Marketplace which he later found out was stolen. The truck he purchased had a swapped VIN number in the window, as well as the factory label on the driver side door frame.
As detectives were investigating this case, the victim found another truck on Facebook Marketplace, similar to the one he previously purchased. Detectives began speaking with the seller of the truck in an undercover capacity and made arrangements to purchase the truck in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Detectives then met with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office as well as the Louisiana State Police and carried out the "purchase" of the vehicle. Ultimately, it was learned the second truck being sold to the undercover deputy was in fact stolen out of Texas. Through the course of the investigation, detectives were able to identify Rostran as the person who sold the truck to the Tangipahoa resident in July, and learned she was arrested in Texas for the same type of crime earlier in 2023.
Chief Travis says Rostran and Munoz were taken into custody by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office and are currently awaiting extradition to Tangipahoa Parish. Once in custody of the Tangipahoa Parish Jail, the subjects will be booked on the following charges:
Gabrielle Rostran for Conspiracy to commit theft, Conspiracy to Injure public records, Injuring public records, Theft, and Accessory after the fact: Motor vehicle, alteration or removal of identifying numbers (2 counts)
Elvis Munoz for Conspiracy to commit theft, Accessory after the fact: Motor vehicle, alteration or removal of identifying numbers, and Conspiracy to injure public records.
The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana State Police (IFAT) for their assistance in this investigation.
***All persons accused of a crime are considered innocent until proven guilty***