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More than half a million dollars worth of jewelry found during traffic stop

Officials with the Colleton County Sheriff's Office say more than half a million dollars worth of stolen jewelry was found during a traffic stop earlier this week.

On Monday afternoon, a Colleton County deputy conducted a traffic stop on an SUV on I-95 for a traffic violation.

Authorities say during a search of the vehicle, a large amount of jewelry that appeared to be stolen was located. CCSO officials say deputies also recovered ski masks and latex gloves in the vehicle.

According to CCSO officials, the occupants in the vehicle could not give a consistent story of where the jewelry came from.

At the time of the traffic stop, the jewelry was confiscated by law enforcement, and the driver was given a warning ticket for the traffic violation.

Through an investigation, the sheriff's office says deputies were able to later identify a marking on the jewelry that led to a jeweler who makes custom jewelry. 

The owners of the jewels were contacted, and it was discovered that the victims had been robbed while attending an art show in New Jersey. The sheriff's office says the jewelry was stolen from a hotel in Carlstadt, N.J. A report states that the jewelry stolen was valued at $650,000.

The owners traveled to South Carolina on Wednesday and claimed the stolen property.

A report lists 22-year-old Felipe Quiroz of Hialeah, Fla., 31-year-old Leroy Ortega of Miami, Fla and 41-year-old Rodgriguez Cruz as suspects in the case. Authorities say warrants have been issued for their arrests on charges of possession of stolen goods.

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