Breaking the state's tax laws is a losing proposition. Read about those who found that out the hard way.

2017

May 24, 2017

Albert Martinez Barrera, 44, of Snyder pleaded guilty to transporting motor fuel without a shipping document in May. He illegally obtained almost 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel from his employer in Midland and hauled it to Snyder.

Jose Luis Aguero, 43, also of Snyder, pleaded guilty to evidence tampering for destroying more than 200 gallons of the fuel that was the subject the investigation.

Both defendants received deferred adjudication, five years’ probation and $1,500 fines plus court costs. They also were ordered to enter a residential treatment facility and perform 160 hours of community service.

Transporting motor fuel without shipping documents is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Tampering with physical evidence is a third-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The cases were prosecuted in Scurry County.

May 19, 2017

Brenda Liz Illarramendi, 46, of El Paso was charged with evading motor vehicle sales taxes by falsifying vehicle titles and title applications in 2015.

She was arrested on five warrants for tampering with a government record with intent to defraud, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. The case is pending prosecution in El Paso County.

May 17, 2017

Oscar David Alderete Ortiz, 39, and Eloy Pineda-Morales, 44, both of Denver City, were indicted for allegedly obtaining approximately 100 gallons of diesel fuel without paying tax in late March. Ortiz also is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without having a motor fuel transporter’s license.

Motor fuel tax evasion is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license is a third-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Yoakum County.

May 16, 2017

Diem Huyen Thi Tran, 47, of Waco was arrested and charged with transporting 90 packs of unstamped, illegally imported Vietnamese cigarettes in her car while driving in Hillsboro in December. They were discovered during the investigation of a theft at a local discount chain store.

In March, a search revealed almost 300 unstamped, illegally imported Vietnamese cigarettes at Tran’s residence. She and Van Thuong Tran, 53, also of Waco, also have been charged with illegal possession of cigarettes.

Transporting unstamped cigarettes is a third-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Both are also charged with possession of fewer than 10,000 unstamped cigarettes, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

The investigation was conducted jointly by officers of the Department of Public Safety and CID. The misdemeanor cases are is pending prosecution in McLennan County. The felony case is pending prosecution in Hill County.

Jonathan Daniel Allen, 36, of Cleburne was arrested in March and charged with using his employer’s company credit card in late 2016 to make several purchases of dyed diesel fuel for his tractor truck without a license. Dyed diesel is nontaxable only for off-road or agricultural use by permit-holders.

Motor fuel tax evasion and purchasing fuel intending to evade tax are second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Engaging in an unlicensed motor fuel transaction is a third-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Johnson County.

May 12, 2017

Luis Ivan Gutierrez-Prieto, 33, of Amarillo was indicted for evading or attempting to evade paying tax on motor fuel in August 2014. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. The case is pending prosecution in Potter County.

May 11, 2017

Jerome White, 32, of Odessa was arrested on two indictments alleging possession of tobacco products on which he allegedly did not pay taxes and for which he had no invoices. Evidence shows that White tried to sell 70 cans of stolen snuff in June 2016.

Failure to pay tobacco tax and maintain proper tax records are third-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000. The cases are pending prosecution in Midland County.

Andres Rivero Escobar, 41, of Katy was arrested after allegedly pumping diesel fuel into an auxiliary tank on May 4 and transporting it without a cargo manifest.

He was charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000. The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Andres Fernandez Borjas, 38, of Houston was indicted for allegedly failing to pay tax on illegally purchased fuel pumped into an auxiliary tank in the bed of his pickup truck at an Angleton truck stop on Christmas Eve.

He is charged with evading motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. The case is pending prosecution in Brazoria County.

May 8, 2017

Felix Cura Herrera, 43, of Mission pleaded guilty in March to transporting motor fuel without a shipping document. He was caught in Sutton County with red-dyed diesel fuel, allegedly stolen from his employer, in a storage tank in his pickup truck.

Herrera received five years’ deferred adjudication, was fined $1,000 plus court costs and ordered to perform 240 hours of community service. Transporting motor fuel without shipping documents is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The case was prosecuted in Sutton County.

Juan Arturo Cruz Leyva, 43, of Tampa, Fla. was arrested and charged with participating in organized crime and transporting motor fuel without proper documentation.

In December and January, he and three accomplices allegedly used “cloned” gift cards containing stolen account numbers, which he attempted to dispose, to obtain and conceal diesel fuel in auxiliary tanks in their pickup trucks, then sell it to truckers.

Engaging in organized criminal activity is a first-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for five to 99 years or life and a fine of up to $10,000. Transporting motor fuel without shipping documents is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The investigation was conducted jointly by members of the FBI’s Permian Basin Oilfield Theft Task Force and CID. The cases are pending prosecution in Ector County.

May 2, 2017

Patricia Ann Bradford, 53, of Odessa pleaded guilty to attempting to obtain a coin-operated machine license in March by fraud (falsifying an application), a second-degree felony. She was sentenced in Ector County to two years’ imprisonment and ordered to pay court costs and various fees.

April 28, 2017

Yuri Columbie, 33, of Houston was arrested and charged with credit card abuse for allegedly obtaining fuel fraudulently. He was observed pumping fuel into an auxiliary tank of a pickup truck after using a cloned fleet card without the holder’s consent, evidence shows.

Credit/debit card abuse is a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for from six months up to two years. The case is pending in Harris County.

Enmanuel Sierra Perez, 22, of Cleveland, Texas was indicted for transporting fuel without a cargo manifest, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

April 27, 2017

Adolfo Hernandez-Hernandez, 35, of Pasadena was arrested on a five-count indictment for allegedly using five different cards not belonging to him on Jan. 1.

Credit/debit card abuse is a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for from six months up to two years.

Jose Miguel Cureza Alfonso, 22, of Houston was arrested for motor fuels tax evasion and possessing identification with intent to defraud seven individuals in mid-January.

Evading motor fuel tax is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Fraudulently using or possessing identifying information is a third-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Both cases are pending prosecution in Brazoria County.

April 24, 2017

Stacie Annette Nalls, 41, of Sunnyvale was arrested and charged with falsifying a license application and unlawfully operating coin-operated amusement machines. She allegedly was one of three unlicensed owners of machines located in a back room of a gift shop in Arlington. Evidence shows that none of the machines displayed the requisite tax permit decals.

Attempting to obtain a license by fraud is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Tampering with a government record is a third-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Operating amusement machines without a license is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

April 18, 2017

Santos Del Pozo Rodriguez, 54, of Houston and Daniel Danger, 50, of Naples, Fla. were arrested and charged with motor fuel tax evasion and unlawfully transporting motor fuel. They allegedly used one of eight “cloned” credit and debit cards to obtain almost 42 gallons of diesel fuel worth $100 from a Caldwell convenience store in mid-April. During their apprehension, evidence shows that Danger attempted to destroy the cards.

According to a sworn statement, the suspects’ pickup truck contained a 300-gallon auxiliary tank in its bed concealed by wooden panels and a tire. CID investigators assisted Caldwell police officers in the investigation.

Evading motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without a valid shipping document both are second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. The cases are pending prosecution in Burleson County.

Michael Saavedra, 37, of El Paso was arrested and charged with theft and misapplying fiduciary property for allegedly stealing more than $3,000 from the Anthony American Legion in late 2014 and early 2015 and approximately $5,800 from the Anthony Texas Police Officers Association in the spring of 2015. This investigation is being conducted jointly by the Texas Rangers and CID.

An El Paso grand jury indicted Saavedra, a former Anthony police officer who was president of the association, on four felony counts. Each is punishable by confinement in a state jail for from six months up to two years. The case is pending prosecution in El Paso County.

April 12, 2017

Leobardo V. Rodriguez, 44, of Pecos was arrested and charged with motor fuel tax evasion for allegedly stealing untaxed diesel fuel from an oilfield lease site in Reeves County.

In late March, Rodriguez is alleged to have cut a hose from a fuel tank on the property and dispensed “red-dyed” diesel fuel into his pickup truck without lawful authorization. Dyed diesel is nontaxable only for off-road or agricultural use by permit-holders.

His arrest arose from an ongoing oil field theft investigation being conducted jointly by the Reeves County Sheriff’s Office, company security and the Texas Rangers. They contacted CID for assistance with the motor fuel tax aspect of the case.

Rodriguez had recently completed deferred adjudication for delivering dyed diesel fuel for highway use, a third-degree felony, according to CID’s sworn statement.

Evading motor fuel tax is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. The case is pending prosecution in Reeves County.

April 5, 2017

Jesus Medeles-Jurado, 47, of San Elizario was arrested and charged with motor fuel tax evasion for allegedly using a company credit card belonging to his former employer to buy gasoline for his personal use.

Evidence shows that, on several occasions in March and early April, Medeles-Jurado used his former supervisor’s personal identification number associated with the card to obtain more than 90 gallons of gasoline worth more than $200 for his pickup truck from a company fuel station without authorization.

In a related case, Rito Salgado Jr., 35, of Fort Worth was arrested and also charged with motor fuel tax evasion for allegedly using a different credit card belonging to the same company to obtain gasoline in March for his and a relative’s personal vehicles. Salgado, who worked for the company when the thefts occurred, claimed that Medeles-Jurado gave him the card he allegedly used.

In both cases, the credit cards had been assigned to company vehicles, one of which was sold in 2016.

Evading motor fuel tax is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Both cases are pending prosecution in Midland County.

March 28, 2017

Oscar David Alderete Ortiz, 38, of Denver City, was arrested for Evading or Attempting to Evade Motor Fuel Tax. He is accused of delivering a bulk load of stolen diesel fuel and failing to pay the backup tax as the seller of the motor fuel to the ultimate consumer of the motor fuel. He was also charged with the third-degree felony offense of Engaging in Motor Fuel Transaction without a License relating to this same case. The cases are pending prosecution in Yoakum County.

Eloy Pineda Morales, 44, of Denver City, was arrested for Evading or Attempting to Evade Motor Fuel Tax after being accused of receiving a bulk load of stolen diesel fuel and failing to pay the backup tax as the ultimate consumer of the motor fuel. The case is pending prosecution in Yoakum County.

Roberto Talavera-Guerra, 36, of Austin, was arrested by warrants for the second-degree felony offenses of Evading Motor Fuel Tax and Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents. The cases are pending prosecution in Williamson County.

Yulier Tamayo Benitez, 34, of Austin, was arrested by warrants for the second-degree felony offenses of Evading Motor Fuel Tax and Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents. The cases are pending prosecution in Williamson County.

March 23, 2017

Thu Linh Le, 33, of Odessa, was arrested by warrant for the second-degree felony offense of Coin-Operated Machine License by Fraud. She is accused of attempting to obtain a coin-operated machine license by filing a false application with the Texas Comptroller. The case is pending prosecution in Ector County.

Patricia Ann Bradford, 53, of Odessa, was arrested by warrant for the second-degree felony offense of Coin-Operated Machine License by Fraud. She is accused of attempting to obtain a coin-operated machine license by filing a false application with the Texas Comptroller. The case is pending prosecution in Ector County.

Esteban Pando Hernandez, Jr., 38, of Odessa, was arrested by warrant for the second-degree felony offense of Evades or Attempts to Evade Motor Fuel Tax. He is accused of purchasing stolen diesel fuel, thereby failing to pay the backup tax as the ultimate consumer of the motor fuel. The case is pending prosecution in Ector County.

Juan Manuel Ortiz, Jr., 45, of Odessa, was arrested by warrant for the second-degree felony offense of Evades or Attempts to Evade Motor Fuel Tax. He is accused of selling stolen diesel fuel, thereby failing to pay the backup tax as the seller of the motor fuel to the ultimate consumer of the motor fuel. The case is pending prosecution in Ector County.

March 7, 2017

Kevin Demon Taylor, 37, of Fort Worth, pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony offense of Fraudulent Use/Possession of Identifying Information, 5 < 10, and was sentenced to serve 4 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Taylor's case, filed as cause number CR15-0030, was prosecuted in Parker County.

Jerry Cantu, 37, of Lubbock, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements and was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication, 240 hours of community service and $27,029.18 in court-ordered restitution to the victim. Pursuant to 12.45 of the Texas Penal Code he admitted his guilt to the Ector County unadjudicated offense styled as A-42-679 for Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity which involved the theft of large amounts of diesel fuel. Cantu's case, filed as cause number 2013-439871, was prosecuted in Lubbock County.

March 6, 2017

Albert Martinez Barrera, 44, of Snyder, was indicted by a Scurry County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He is accused of intentionally or knowingly transporting over a public highway, a motor fuel which a shipping document is required to be carried without possessing a shipping document. Barrera's case, filed as cause number 10467, is pending prosecution in Scurry County.

Jose Luis Aguero, 43, of Snyder, was indicted by a Scurry County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He is accused of intentionally or knowingly accepting a delivery of motor fuel and did not at the same time accept or receive a shipping document relating to the bulk delivery of diesel fuel. Aguero's case, filed as cause number 10468, is pending prosecution in Scurry County.

March 1, 2017

Juan Enrique Maldonado-Castillo, 49, of Pflugerville, was indicted for the second-degree felony offenses of Evading Motor Fuel Tax and Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents and the state jail felony offense of Credit Card or Debit Card Abuse. Maldonado-Castillo's cases, filed respectively as cause numbers D1DC16302319, D1DC16302317 and D1DC16302321, are pending prosecution in Travis County.

February 27, 2017

Sandra Lee Ferguson, 58, of North Richland Hills, was arrested by warrant for the Class A misdemeanor offense of Operating without a License or Registration Certificate, a violation of the Texas Occupations Code Section 2153.356. Ferguson is accused of owning, operating and displaying amusement machines without the proper license or registration certificate. Ferguson's case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

February 16, 2017

Francois Lucien Lindstrom, 43, of Arlington, was arrested by warrants for the third-degree felony offense of Tampering with a Governmental Record and the Class A misdemeanor offense of False Application for Driver's License. Lindstrom's case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Christopher G. Marshall, 40, of Meridian, pleaded guilty to the Class A misdemeanor offense of Concealing Motor Fuel and was sentenced to a $4,000 fine for his role in stealing dyed diesel fuel and storing it for use in his motor vehicle. Marshall's case, filed as cause number 1477, was prosecuted in Glasscock County.

February 15, 2017

Sherri Ann Kaether, 52, was arrested by warrant for the Class B misdemeanor offense of False Report to Peace Officer after allegedly knowingly making a false statement that is material to a criminal investigation to a peace officer conducting the investigation Kaether's case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Omar Gardea Lujan, 36, of Odessa, was sentenced in U. S. District Court in Midland to 5 years' probation, a $5,000 fine and court-ordered restitution for his role in a scheme in which he aided and abetted others to commit Access Device Fraud. Lujan's case was prosecuted by the Midland/Odessa Division of the United States Attorney's Office.

Jorge Carrasco Urias, 44, of Odessa, was sentenced in U. S. District Court in Midland to 5 years' probation with 2 years' home confinement, a $20,000 fine and court-ordered restitution for his role in a scheme in which he aided and abetted others to commit Access Device Fraud. Carrasco Urias' case was prosecuted by the Midland/Odessa Division of the United States Attorney's Office.

February 14, 2017

Isai Navarrete, 33, of Odessa, was sentenced in U. S. District Court in Midland to 21 months in federal prison, 3 years supervised release and court-ordered restitution for his role in a scheme in which he aided and abetted others to commit Access Device Fraud. Navarrete's case was prosecuted by the Midland/Odessa Division of the United States Attorney's Office..

February 13, 2017

Franklin Antonio Robleto, 28, of Houston, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents. He was sentenced to 3 years deferred adjudication, $1,200 fine and 80 hours of community service. Robleto's case, filed as cause number 27846, was prosecuted in Walker County.

February 9, 2017

Jesus Lozoya, 31, of Gardendale, was sentenced in U. S. District Court in Midland to 18 months in federal prison, 3 years supervised release, a $10,000 fine and court-ordered restitution for his role in a scheme in which he aided and abetted others to commit Access Device Fraud. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison for the new crime and 8 months in prison for violating terms of his supervised release to be served consecutively. Lozoya's case was prosecuted by the Midland/Odessa Division of the United States Attorney's Office.

Aaron Rowden, 30, of Odessa, was arrested for the second-degree felony offense of Accepting Delivery of Motor Fuel without Receiving Shipping Documents. He was found to be in possession of a bulk container of stolen dyed diesel fuel. Rowden's case is pending prosecution in Ector County.

February 1, 2017

Kenneth J. Twiggs, 33, of Odessa, pleaded guilty to the Class A misdemeanor offense of Concealing Motor Fuel. Twiggs was found to have been concealing stolen dyed diesel fuel for use in his motor vehicle. He was sentenced to 6 months' probation and a $500 fine. Twiggs case, filed as cause number 17-0206-CCL2, was prosecuted in Ector County.

Edwin Quan, 53, of Terrell, was arrested by warrant for the Class A misdemeanor offense of Operating without a License or Registration Certificate, a violation of the Texas Occupations Code Section 2153.356. Quan is accused of owning, operating and displaying amusement machines without the proper license or registration certificate. Quan's case is pending prosecution in Kaufman County.

January 25, 2017

Madan Adhikary, 42, of Irving, was arrested for the second-degree felony offense of Bribery after offering to deliver cash, then meeting with an undercover officer posing as an audit supervisor and delivering cash in exchange for a reduction in or waiver of his sales tax liability audit. The case is pending indictment in Bexar County.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment, later unsealed, charging the following individuals with one count of Access Device Fraud and one count of Aggravated Identity Theft: Juan Adelmo Bermudez, age 46; Jorge Manuel Batista-Gonzalez, 37; Michel Sarmiento, 36; Andy Cruz-Leyva, 45; Sandra Alva Escobar-Carballosa, 31; and Livan Sanchez-Leyva, 38, all of Odessa. Others arrested in this scheme are identified as Omero Lazaro Barbeito-Lastre, 44; Jose Angel Leyva-Oliva, 42; and Eduardo Tamayo-Pupo, 36, all of Tampa, Florida; and Alejandro Vega-Torres, 33, of Hialeah, Florida. These defendants were all arrested after investigation revealed that they were using "cloned" credit cards to purchase hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel from local stations and then reselling the unlawfully acquired diesel fuel to others. This investigation was conducted by the Texas Comptroller's Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI's Permian Basin Oilfield Theft Task Force and the Ector County Sheriff's Office.

January 17, 2017

Enmanuel Sierra Perez, 21, of Cleveland, Texas, was arrested for the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements after unlawfully intentionally and knowingly transporting motor fuel for which a cargo manifest was required to be carried without possessing a cargo manifest. Perez' case is pending indictment in Harris County.

January 13, 2017

Adolfo Hernandez Hernandez, 35, of Pasadena, was arrested by warrant for the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements after unlawfully intentionally and knowingly transporting motor fuel for which a cargo manifest was required to be carried without possessing a cargo manifest. Hernandez Hernandez' case is pending indictment in Brazoria County.

January 5, 2017

Juan Pablo Alvarado, 34, of Mercedes, pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 2 years deferred adjudication and a $300 fine. Alvarado's case, filed as cause number CR-2742-16-G (count three), was prosecuted in Hidalgo County. The other counts in the case were dismissed as part of the plea deal.

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