New Jersey man charged with trafficking 675 SpaceX Starlink terminals

The Lawrence Township Police Department recovered 223 of 675 SpaceX Starlink Terminals allegedly purchased using stolen credit card numbers, the department said Tuesday.

Source: Lawrence Township Police Department

A New Jersey man was arrested on charges for allegedly trafficking 675 SpaceX Starlink terminals purchased with stolen credit card accounts or hacked Starlink billing accounts, police said Wednesday.

The man, 35-year-old Kelvin Rodriguez-Moya, was stopped by police Dec. 4 while driving 223 Starlink terminals in a pickup truck and trailer after leaving a residence in Lawrence Township, New Jersey, a criminal complaint said. The terminals had shipping labels addressed to multiple different names at the same address.

Lawrence Township police had been tipped off about a suspiciously large number of Starlink terminals being shipped to that home, the complaint said. Detectives then witnessed Rodriguez-Moya loading a FedEx shipment of terminals onto the truck and trailer.

Rodriguez-Moya told police that he was paid $300 to drive the terminals to Newark, where he lives, for resale, according to the complaint.

The total value of the 675 fraudulently purchased Starlink terminals that police subsequently learned had been shipped to the Lawrence Township address is about $400,000, police said.

Police arrested Kelvin Rodriguez-Moya, 35, of Newark, on Monday after a three-month investigation.

Source: Lawrence Township Police Department

Bennett Woo, SpaceX’s director of payment risk and fraud, called the seizure of the terminals SpaceX’s “largest fraud recovery to date by an order of magnitude,” police said in a news release.

Lawrence Township Police Lieutenant Kevin Reading told CNBC, “The trafficking of the terminals is still under investigation.”

Reading said police are working with SpaceX to determine how the terminals were purchased.

Starlink terminals provide customers high-speed internet access through SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation. The terminals have been sought after by military, government and nongovernment organizations around the world.

A Starlink dish and router are displayed in San Anselmo, California, on Feb. 12, 2024.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Last month, Ukraine’s primary intelligence accused Russian military forces of using Starlink terminals in Ukrainian territory occupied by those forces.

Elon Musk, the billionaire who is the CEO of SpaceX, said the company had not sold Starlink terminals to Russia, nor was the company aware of indirect sales of the terminal to that nation.

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Rodriguez-Moya was arrested Tuesday on charges of second-degree receiving stolen property, and second-degree trafficking stolen property.

He is being held in the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing scheduled for Friday in county court.

In a recorded interview with police at headquarters, Rodriguez-Moya said he had been involved in receiving and transporting the Starlink terminals since November, according to the criminal complaint.

“He vaguely described that he came into contact with ‘Alberto’ through mutual friends and that he suggested the address” on Roxboro Road for the shipment, the complaint said.

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