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Man accused of boat theft ring skips trial

A Miami man facing federal charges in an alleged boat theft ring that stretched between Marco Island and Pinellas County failed to appear at his trial Tuesday morning, leading a judge to issue a warrant for his arrest.

Javier Guevara Fernandez is one of 12 men facing federal conspiracy and smuggling charges in the alleged ring and the only not to strike a plea deal with prosecutors.

Federal investigators say he conspired to steal a 44-foot 2007 Sea Ray from Punta Gorda, one of 11 boats alleged to have been stolen by the ring between 2007 and 2010.

The defendants intended to smuggle the boats into Mexico, the indictment states.

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