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Karls Monzon Organized One of The Biggest Heists in Florida History. Here’s Where He is Today.

Karls Monzon and his wife just wanted to have a baby. But after multiple unsuccessful fertility treatments and miscarriages, they decided adoption was their best route. Soon after, though, they discovered just how prohibitively expensive adoption is. So, Karls enlisted a few of his friends for help, and then planned and executed one of the largest heists in Florida history. He tells the tale of how they pulled off the $7.4 million dollar robbery at Miami International Airport in Netflix’s new docuseries Heist.

Karls’ friend Onelio Diaz was working as a Brinks security guard when he noticed that once a week an international flight would arrive at the airport carrying $80 million in cash for Miami’s Federal Reserve Bank. He noticed that the cash was unloaded with the door wide open by unarmed security guards to a dock accessible to anyone driving down the airport road. And so, knowing Karls needed money for the adoption process, he let him know.

Courtesy of NETFLIX

As Karls details in the documentary, he spent the following weeks planning the heist—staking out the airport, recruiting his friends and family to assist, and watching hours and hours of crime TV shows and movies. And on November 6, 2005, after Onelio called Karls to let him know the plane had landed, Karls set off in a pick-up truck with his associates to execute the heist.

With one friend as the lookout and his brother-in-law Jeffrey Boatwright as the driver, Karls and his wife’s uncle, Pinky, jumped out of the truck, ordered the workers to the ground, then grabbed six bags of cash and ran back to the truck. Although they had not anticipated the sheer weight of the 38-pound cash bags, they still managed to get $7.4 million dollars into the back of the truck before speeding off. Although Karls dropped his face covering at the scene, there was no DNA evidence found, and the police had no leads on the criminals involved.

heist the money plane ©netflix 2021

Courtesy of NETFLIX

The crew divided the cash up among them, but vowed not to spend too much of it in one place in order to avoid detection. All managed to abide by this except for Karls’ brother-in-law Jeffrey, who was spending his cash on escorts, drugs, and flashy watches, according to the docuseries. As Karls explains in Heist, Jeffrey’s spending was making him nervous, so he hired two hitmen to kidnap him, steal money, and scare him on two separate occasions.

Still, the group avoided detection for months. But once the FBI offered a $150,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the money and the capture of the criminals, a friend of Karls’ came forward and provided a list of suspects. The FBI tapped the phones to surveil the people he told them were involved.

heist the money plane juan sanchez molina as karls monzon in heist the money plane ©netflix 2021

Victor, who served as the lookout in the 2005 heist.

Courtesy of NETFLIX

And February 17, 2006, it all came crashing down. The hitmen that Karls had previously hired to scare Jeffrey had kidnapped him a third time of their own volition, and demanded $500,000 in ransom to Karls. Karls refused to pay it, telling them to just go ahead and kill Jeffrey. The FBI, listening in as Karls’ phone was tapped, immediately jumped in to find Jeffrey. They tracked his location to a hotel from cell pings, and arrived at the scene in time to save him—and then arrest him, alongside his kidnappers, for his involvement in the heist. Karls Monzon, his wife, and Onelio Diaz were arrested that night, too.

In March of 2006, Karls and his accomplices were charged with armed robbery. Onelio Diaz was sentenced to 16 years and served 14. Jeffrey Boatwright was sentenced to 17 years. He served 11, and passed away shortly after his release. His sister, Karls’ wife, served three years for being an accessory to theft, as she had learned of the robbery after it had been committed and not reported it. Their uncle Pinky evaded capture for another four years spent on the run, but was eventually captured and sentenced to 11 years in prison. He served just under ten. Their other accomplices, Victor and Alex, who both feature in the documentary, were sentenced to six and four and a half years, respectively. Victor served four and a half, and Alex just over three.

karls monzon

Karls Monzon tells his story in ’Heist’.

Netflix

Karls Monzon pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison. After he served nine, Karls was released on April 1, 2016 on parole, and spent eight months living in a halfway house. He lives in Miami today, where he works as a truck driver for Regulated Towing Inc. He is no longer with his wife, and has no children. “This robbery cost me my American Dream,” Karls, originally from Cuba, says in the doc. “I had the house, I had a wife, I just needed a child.” His wife began a new relationship, and now has two daughters.

In May of 2006, the FBI dug up over $1 million dollars on the property of one of the conspirators. But the remaining $6 million dollars stolen in the heist has never been recovered.

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