Woman Guilty of Va. Gold Burglaries

September 20, 2010

A New York City woman has pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal more than $500,000 worth of gold and other valuables from the homes of South Asian families in northern Virginia.

Melinda Soto of Queens, N.Y., was indicted in July on federal conspiracy charges. Soto plead guilty on Friday in U.S. District Court.

Soto admitted to burglarizing 37 homes in Fairfax and Loudoun counties last year. She also agreed to testify against her husband, Dagoberto Ramirez-Soto, and their friend Francisco Gray, who also are accused in the case.

Soto said they sold the stolen property in New York. As part of her plea deal, she agreed to pay back the victims. Before her plea, a judge denied her attorneys' motion to suppress evidence obtained during the investigation.

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