An Illinois truck driver was arrested at a New Jersey Turnpike rest area while he was attempting to peddle a 42,000-lb. load of Muenster cheese stolen from Wisconsin worth an estimated $200,000.
Veniamin Balika, 34, a trucker from Plainfield, IL, was released on bond following his arrest on March 26 on charges of receiving stolen property and fencing.
The trucker used fake paperwork to get the cheese loaded onto his rig, according to the distributor of K&K Cheese, based in Cashton, WI. The New Jersey State Police Cargo Theft unit intercepted the stolen cargo at the Vince Lombardi Service Area off the New Jersey Turnpike.
New Jersey State Police Detective Oliver Sissman told WISC-TV News that the trucker was planning to sell the heisted Muenster to retailers on the East Coast. “There’s a black market for everything,” said Sissman. “We’ve seen everything stolen. We’ve found stolen beer, stolen food, stolen machine parts, but this is the first time, we’ve found stolen cheese.”