Amtrak OIG-supported investigation leads to arrest, charges in alleged theft case

March 10, 2021 |  Investigations Press Release

For Immediate Release

March 10, 2021


NEWARK, N.J. — An Amtrak employee was arrested Monday night for allegedly stealing chainsaws and chainsaw parts valued at over $50,000 from Amtrak and reselling them, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, New Jersey District, announced Tuesday.


Jose Rodriguez, 48, of Brick, New Jersey, was charged by complaint with one count of theft from Amtrak, which receives federal funds, and one count of theft of government property.


According to court documents and statements, Rodriguez, an Amtrak senior engineer and repairman based in North Brunswick, allegedly obtained 77 chainsaws, 103 chainsaw bars, and 163 chains from Amtrak between August 2016 and July 2020, the total value of which was more than $50,000. He then allegedly sold most of the Amtrak chainsaws and parts to purchasers throughout the United States through an online auction service. During the investigation, agents recovered chainsaws that were sold which had serial numbers matching Amtrak’s chainsaws.


The offenses charged in the complaint each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and maximum fine of $250,000. The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


The case was investigated by Amtrak OIG and the Amtrak Police Department. More information is available in the press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:



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