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Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

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

2020

April to June

April 30

Fnu Ahmed-Dhanani, 38, of Euless was indicted last fall for allegedly falsifying a renewal application for an amusement machine license.

In late November 2018, he reportedly submitted an application with two incorrect addresses for his places of business and recordkeeping; one was a convenience store, the other a barber shop under construction, both in a strip mall in southwest Fort Worth. The defendant also allegedly used a variation of his name, but not his full legal name, on the application. Amusement machine operators in Texas must either be licensed to operate machines statewide or certified to do so at specific locations.

Ahmed-Dhanani is charged with attempting to obtain a license by fraud, 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 Tarrant County.

Arquimedes Cardoso Naranjo, 37, of Houston was indicted March 6 for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to fraudulently obtain more than 37 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $100 from a Hempstead meat market last fall.

For failing to pay backup tax, Naranjo is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, along with transporting motor fuel without a shipping document, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., his truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In addition, local authorities have charged him with credit/debit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

On Nov. 25, the owner reportedly observed a suspicious transaction at one of the store’s fuel pumps and contacted local authorities. They confiscated several “cloned” cards including the gift card allegedly used when the defendant pumped fuel directly into a “saddle tank” on his box truck.

Investigators discovered that the tank was connected to a fuel “bladder” in the cargo area. The truck had been further modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel, reports show.

CID assisted the Waller County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Waller County.

Guillermo Enamorado, 50, and Alain Garcia-Cabrales, 29, both of Houston, pleaded guilty in a Brazoria County district court to using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain large quantities of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Pearland a year ago. They each received 11 months in state jail, with more than 100 days’ jail time credited, and were ordered to pay court costs.

Each defendant admitted to credit/debit card abuse and fraudulent use/possession of identifying information, both felonies punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years. Related charges of motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000, were dismissed in their plea agreements.

On May 21, 2019, the store manager noticed a suspicious transaction at a pump involving a vehicle that had been there earlier. She notified Pearland police who arrested the defendants near the scene. They reportedly had pumped almost 160 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $400 into their two vehicles. Officers confiscated 21 charge cards including a Disney Mickey Mouse gift card re-encoded with stolen credit/debit card numbers.

Officers discovered 100-gallon steel auxiliary tanks in the compartment of a box van driven by one of the suspects and in the bed of a pickup truck driven by the other suspect. Both vehicles had been modified with pumps and hoses to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, according to reports, and bore temporary tags.

Ernesto Jesus Rodriguez-Izaguirre, 28, of Austin was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain 90 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $240 from a chain convenience store in Temple last summer.

On June 4, 2019, a store manager alerted local police that a customer suspected of previously having made fraudulent purchases was there making multiple transactions with different cards. Officers arrested him at the scene, recovering 12 “cloned” cards from a wallet found inside the van he was driving.

They also discovered a toggle switch inside the fuel door of the van which, according to reports, contained an auxiliary fuel tank, hose, meter and nozzle in the rear.

Rodriguez-Izaguirre is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. He was served with an arrest warrant in Bell County Jail, where he was already being held on local charges.

CID assisted the Temple Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Bell County.

On March 10, Rodriguez-Izaguirre pleaded guilty in a Travis County district court to motor fuel tax evasion and credit/debit card abuse. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and eight and five years’ probation, to be served concurrently, in lieu of six-year and two-year prison sentences, respectively. He also was fined $2,000 plus court costs and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

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

The defendant admitted using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 74 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $200 from a Pflugerville convenience store in March 2018.

Eunelio Blancos, 39, of Houston was indicted Feb. 18 for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain approximately 107 gallons of diesel fuel from a Houston convenience store late last year.

Blancos is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license. Local authorities also have charged him with fraudulently using/possessing counterfeit credit cards. Both offenses are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

On Dec. 6, 2019, local police reportedly observed the defendant conducting multiple transactions and confiscated nine “cloned” charge cards in his possession. Officers also discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of his pickup truck. Reports show that it had been modified to receive, transport and dispense fuel.

CID assisted the Houston Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

April 28

Brandon James Gressett, 33, of Seminole pleaded guilty in a Gaines County district court in January to motor fuel tax evasion, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and four years’ probation. He also was ordered to pay $484 in restitution plus court costs.

The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Gressett admitted unlawfully obtaining approximately 216 gallons of dyed diesel fuel from his employer, a local construction machine rental service, and offloading it into a storage tank at a residence.

In Texas, non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized almost exclusively for off-road, agricultural use by permit-holders.

Orlando Ramirez Sanchez, 30, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court in December to collaborating with others to make re-encoded charge cards, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and five years’ probation. He was fined $5,000 plus court costs.

Sanchez admitted engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for five to 99 years or life and a fine of up to $10,000. Related felony charges of credit card abuse and engaging in a fuel transaction without a license were dismissed in the plea agreement.

State troopers arrested Sanchez in October 2018 in Houston upon observing him make eight diesel fuel transactions using multiple credit cards. They confiscated 18 “cloned” cards and discovered an auxiliary tank in his pickup truck modified for receiving, transporting and dispensing motor fuel.

Subsequent investigation revealed that Sanchez and other individuals were involved in manufacturing phony cards containing other cardholders’ account information.

CID assisted the Department of Public Safety in the investigation of the case.

April 27

Quang Buu Merideth, 53, of Grand Prairie pleaded no contest in a Tarrant County criminal court last fall to repairing coin-operated amusement machines without a license in Arlington in 2017.

Under a plea agreement, Merideth received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and 12 months’ probation. Court costs were assessed but no fine or community service. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both. The former owner of YGI Amusement Machines admitted that he did not have the required state license to repair coin-operated machines and should not have been doing so in July 2017.

Ector County sheriff’s deputies arrested Merideth in February 2019 after stopping him for a traffic violation. At the time, three other misdemeanor warrants issued by CID were pending against him in Tarrant, Dallas and Wood counties.

April 25

Tariq Sabah Khalifa, 38, of Watauga pleaded guilty to operating six “8-liner” video games without a license or registration certificate at his Fort Worth convenience store last spring.

Khalifa received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and nine months’ probation from a Tarrant County criminal court judge. He was assessed court costs but no fine or community service. A tobacco tax charge for possessing less than 10,000 unstamped cigarettes was dismissed in his plea agreement.

Both offenses are Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

The video games, similar to slot machines, were not bearing state-issued decals when they were discovered during a complaint-based inspection on April 6, 2019. Investigators also found 91 unstamped cigarette sticks behind the clerk’s counter.

April 1

Mohammad Salman, 56, of Highland Village was indicted last winter for purchasing untaxed tobacco products from an unlicensed distributor and failing to maintain required records.

Salman is charged with two counts of possession of tobacco on which more than $50 in taxes were due and one count of a books and records violation. Each offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Based on an inspection of the defendant’s Southlake tobacco shop, Smoker’s Dream, on Dec. 20, 2019, investigators claim that the defendant bought tobacco products from an unlicensed distributor on at least five occasions between Aug. 7 and Nov. 13, 2018. He allegedly failed to provide valid, proper invoices in response to a records demand.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Mohammad Tahir Khan, 60, of Waco pleaded guilty in January to tobacco tax evasion and a related recordkeeping violation, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction), six years’ probation and fines totaling $1,500, plus court costs.

He admitted to both counts of his indictment: possessing tobacco products on which taxes were due of more than $50 and a books and records violation for not producing invoices for the transactions. Each offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

A McLennan County district judge fined him $750 per count and ordered his two probated sentences be served concurrently. Six other related charges were considered for sentencing purposes.

In the fall of 2017, the owner of Bellmead Tobacco Store bought almost $20,000 worth of tobacco from a Pennsylvania distributor for resale without paying more than $12,000 in Texas tobacco taxes. A Pennsylvania state tax investigator alerted CID to the illicit purchases.

May 31

Eligo Benavides, 39, of Alamo was indicted this past winter for using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain about 42 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $107 at a chain convenience store in Katy.

For failing to pay the backup tax, Benavides is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. He also is charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., his pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

On Jan. 16, the truck was found to contain the unlawfully acquired diesel. The vehicle had been modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of motor fuel, reports show, and the defendant allegedly did not have the required cargo manifest.

The case is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

May 29

Dorian Jimenez-Espinoza, 32, a Houston auto dealer, was indicted May 29 for allegedly withholding more than $33,000 in taxes from the state.

The defendant, who manages Jimenez Motor Cars, is charged with money laundering and misapplication of fiduciary property. Each offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with tampering with a government record, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Jimenez-Espinoza allegedly underreported sales prices for the first five months of 2019, failing to remit more than $33,000 in motor vehicle sales taxes collected on transactions. He claimed to have used the funds to pay employee commissions, according to reports.

An audit found that records also had been tampered with between 2016 and 2019 in order to conceal sales prices, evidently to avoid making substantial tax payments.

A customer complaint prompted the investigation that led to the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

May 22

Joel Issac Sotelo, 34, of Odessa pleaded guilty May 22 to motor fuel tax evasion and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction).

A district judge in Midland County sentenced him to four years’ probation, 150 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine, plus court costs. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Sotelo admitted unlawfully appropriating 75 gallons of untaxed dyed diesel fuel last summer in Midland.

The fuel reportedly had been obtained from a rig site and dispensed into both “saddle” supply tanks of the defendant’s semi-truck combo. Sotelo, owner of Optimus Trucking Co., was operating the vehicle on a public highway when a state trooper stopped him for an alleged traffic violation on Aug. 15, 2019.

In Texas, non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red to distinguish it from taxable diesel. Red-dyed diesel is authorized almost exclusively for off-road, agricultural use by permit-holders only.

May 21

Pedro Ruiz Crespo, 47; Cruz Plasencia, 46; and Jorge Felix Lopez, 34, all of Houston, were indicted for allegedly participating in a scheme to unlawfully obtain and sell diesel fuel without paying state taxes.

Crespo and Plasencia are charged with transporting motor fuel without cargo manifests or shipping documents, and Lopez is charged with accepting delivery of motor fuel without receiving a shipping document. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

On Jan. 8, local police reportedly observed Crespo and Plasencia driving pickup trucks into a trucking yard. They allegedly dispensed diesel from tanks hidden in the truck beds into two large “bladder” containers – one on a truck trailer, the other on the ground – belonging to Lopez, a semi-tractor truck driver who allegedly was buying the fuel from Crespo and Plasencia.

CID assisted the Houston Police Department in the investigation of the cases, which are pending prosecution in Harris County.

Yainel Maturell Fernandez, 30, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using a stolen charge card to unlawfully obtain more than 113 gallons of diesel fuel worth $270 from a chain convenience store in Madisonville this past spring.

Surveillance video reportedly showed the suspect making two transactions on separate dates and dispensing diesel into the main fuel tank and an auxiliary tank in the bed of a pickup truck.

Fernandez is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, and with credit/debit card abuse of the elderly, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Madison County.

May 20

Manuel Terrazas, Jr., 39, of Denver City pleaded guilty to motor fuel tax evasion and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction).

A Yoakum County district judge sentenced him to eight years’ probation and more than $10,000 in restitution, plus reimbursement fees and court costs. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Terrazas previously was granted pre-trial diversion, but the agreement was revoked when he failed to complete the terms.

The defendant admitted illegally appropriating almost 3,350 gallons of diesel fuel, valued at more than $11,400, from his previous employer. While driving a tanker truck for an energy services company, he delivered less than the ordered quantities of fuel to customers and sold the difference. The practice, known as “short loading,” circumvented payment of required backup taxes.

May 19

Nelson Conde-Rodriguez, 34, of Houston was indicted in April for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain more than 50 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $128 from a chain convenience store in Katy last January.

Conde-Rodriguez is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Local authorities also have charged him with felony credit card abuse.

On Jan. 20, store personnel reportedly witnessed the driver of a pickup truck making suspicious diesel fuel purchases and contacted local police. They confiscated six credit cards during a subsequent traffic stop.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

May 18

Angel Moya, 57, of Cypress was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to fraudulently obtain more than 78 gallons of diesel fuel worth $200 from a Katy supermarket last January.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison a fine of up to $10,000.

A store employee reportedly witnessed the illegal purchase, observing the defendant pumping diesel directly into an auxiliary tank concealed in the bed of a pickup truck allegedly driven by co-defendant Cue Isabel Hernandez, 33, of Houston. The employee contacted local police with a description of the pink-haired driver.

The pair drove away before officers arrived, located and stopped the vehicle. It had been outfitted with a 100-gallon “bladder” concealed beneath a tool box mounted in the bed of the truck, along with hoses and nozzles, which qualified the truck as a motor fuel transport. Investigators confiscated several “cloned” cards but found no state permits or licenses.

Hernandez is under indictment for unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. In addition, local authorities have charged both suspects with fraudulent use/possession of between five and 10 items of identifying information, also a third-degree felony.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

May 13

Pablo Luis Narvaez Alvarez, 67, of San Benito; Florencio Andrade Hernandez, 48, and Marco Antonio Nunez Martinez, 40, both of Brownsville; and Jose Cipriano Guerrero Sanchez, 45, a Mexican national, were indicted for allegedly participating in a scheme to buy and use untaxed gasoline diverted to a Brownsville trucking company site last summer and fall.

Hernandez and Martinez each are charged with motor fuel tax evasion for failing to pay the required backup taxes. Martinez and Alvarez are charged with transporting motor fuel without proper shipping documents. Alvarez also is charged with accepting motor fuel delivered without a shipping document, and Sanchez is charged with distributing motor fuel on which taxes were unpaid.

All the offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In addition, Sanchez is charged with motor fuel transportation using a false manifest, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

All of the defendants except Hernandez were indicted on multiple felony counts.

On five occasions in August, September and October of 2019, Sanchez allegedly off-loaded thousands of gallons of gas from trucks belonging to a Mexican cargo firm into drums at a freight yard owned by Martinez and Hernandez’ employer, instead of delivering them to the purchaser in Mexico. Known as “short loading,” the practice circumvents state law exempting exported gasoline from tax.

Martinez and Alvarez allegedly drove vehicles containing bulk loads of the untaxed gas on public roadways. Hernandez is accused of buying six drums containing approximately 90 gallons of gas from Alvarez for $25 apiece. Martinez allegedly bought one drum from Alvarez, who was acquiring the gas from Sanchez.

Sanchez was arrested in mid-December at a border crossing in Pharr. The other co-defendants were arrested in mid- and late-January at various locations in Cameron County.

CPA CID assisted the Department of Public Safety CID in the investigation of the cases, which are pending prosecution in Cameron County.

May 12

Luis Mario Vela Reyes, 33, of Cleveland was arrested for unlawfully acquiring more than 70 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $200 from a Livingston convenience store earlier this year.

A state investigator reportedly witnessed the suspect making two allegedly fraudulent transactions on Jan. 23 using a re-encoded charge card. He twice pumped fuel directly into an auxiliary tank concealed in the bed of his pickup truck, according to reports.

A state trooper detained the suspect during an ensuing traffic stop, but the “cloned” card was not found.

Reyes was subsequently arrested at a Cleveland gas station. Records show he was under investigation for a similar offense in Montgomery County last fall.

Reyes is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; and possession of fewer than five items of identifying information, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

CID assisted the Department of Public Safety in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Polk County.

May 7

Rodolfo Banuelos-Holguin, 33, of Odessa was indicted late last year for allegedly using red dyed diesel fuel in his vehicle unlawfully.

The defendant is accused of motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In mid-August, a state trooper discovered that the semi-truck tractor the suspect was driving in Midland contained approximately 100 gallons of dyed diesel. He claimed to have bought it from someone who approached him. Banuelos-Holguin was arrested in March.

In Texas, non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized almost exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural uses by permit-holders.

CID assisted the Department of Public Safety in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Midland County.

June 30

Stephen Asiku Gule, 38, of Houston was arrested for allegedly mailing 10 false and forged forms to the Unclaimed Property Division totaling more than $370,000 over a two-month period.

The first seven claims were for property belonging to a variety of entities. In the other three claims, the suspect purported to be the chief financial officer or a corporate officer of several national and international corporations. According to witness statements, Gule was not a corporate officer of one entity and had no legal right to the claims, nor did he hold any such positions with the other entities.

Gule is charged with submitting false statements to obtain property and forgery with intent to obtain property greater than $300,000. Both offenses are first-degree felonies, each punishable by five to 99 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The U.S Postal Inspection Service assisted CID with this investigation and the Harris County Constable’s Office participated with the CID arrest team during the execution of the arrest warrants. This case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Manuel Batista-Torres, 34, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using stolen credit card numbers from an electronic Fuze consolidation card to unlawfully obtain more than 138 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $281.

Department of Public Safety CID special agents reportedly observed the suspect making five separate transactions at three different gas stations. He allegedly used two different credit card numbers in the transactions. The Fuze card was loaded with 45 stolen credit and debit card numbers, reports show.

He allegedly pumped diesel fuel into an auxiliary tank of a utility truck with a fuel pump, hose and nozzle concealed inside a compartment mounted on the passenger side of the truck bed.

Batista-Torres is charged with attempting to evade fuel tax and fraudulent use and/or possession of 10-50 items of identifying information. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Department of Public Safety CID in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

June 21

Tommy Dean Turner, 57, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly possessing 24,000 cigarettes on which no taxes were paid.

An investigation of a semi-tractor trailer theft last spring revealed that the suspect had keys to a lock on a rental truck containing two cases of stolen, 1,200 packs of unstamped cigarettes. He reportedly acknowledged that he had driven the truck to the location where it was inspected, reports show, and had given away four cases of cigarettes.

Turner is charged with possession of unstamped cigarettes in quantities of 10,000 or more. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Cigarettes sold in Texas must bear state-issued stamps indicating payment of tax.

CID assisted the Balch Springs Police Department with the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

June 18

Yaniel Maturell Fernandez, 31, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using fraudulent charge cards to unlawfully obtain more than 72 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 from a chain convenience store in Waller.

Surveillance video footage showed the suspect pumping diesel fuel into the main fuel tank, as well as auxiliary tanks in the bed of a vehicle. Other investigative means linked the suspect to the dispensing of the fuel.

Fernandez is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with credit/debit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Waller County.

June 17

Ernesto Jesus Izaguirre-Rodriguez, 28, of Austin was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to fraudulently obtain approximately 90 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $240 from a store in Temple.

Rodriguez is charged with motor fuels tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He was previously arrested and charged with the same offense in Travis County.

The illegally acquired diesel fuel was delivered into a large auxiliary fuel tank in the back of a panel van. It had been modified with an auxiliary tank to store fuel, along with a long hose, fuel nozzle and digital fuel meter to deliver fuel to another vehicle or container.

CID assisted the Temple Police Department with the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Bell County.

Rodolfo Giniebra-Santos, 24, and Alberto Almira-Santos, 35, of Pflugerville were arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded card containing stolen account information to fraudulently obtain sizable quantities of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in New Braunfels.

On June 14, the suspects were observed illegally acquiring diesel fuel. The store manager recognized both men from previous diesel fuel purchases at the same location on seven different occasions from May 15 through June 12, as verified by store receipts and surveillance video.

During an inventory of the suspects’ pickup truck, officers confiscated 127 “cloned” cards. An inspection revealed an approximate 280-gallon fuel tank in the truck bed. The truck was outfitted with a pump, fuel hose, fuel nozzle and digital fuel meter to deliver fuel to another vehicle. A toggle switch used to direct the fuel from the supply tank to the auxiliary tank was discovered inside the truck cab.

The two suspects are charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck) a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the New Braunfels Police Department with the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Comal County.

June 15

Kenneth Harris, 60, of Allen was arrested for allegedly presenting an application for a coin-operated amusement machine general business license using a fraudulent Social Security number.

In late October 2019, he entered the Dallas Enforcement Office and allegedly submitted an application with a fraudulent Social Security number. The enforcement officer who processed the application identified an account associated with him that had outstanding civil penalties. When questioned about the discrepancies, the suspect insisted that his identity had been stolen and used to open the account with the penalties.

Harris is charged with attempting to obtain a license by fraud, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

June 11

Eduardo Torres, 46, of Hidalgo was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards with stolen information to fraudulently obtain sizable quantities of diesel fuel from an Edinburg convenience store.

The Department of Public Safety CID obtained receipts and surveillance video of the suspect dispensing fuel into an L-shaped auxiliary tank located in the bed of his pickup truck. During a traffic stop, a state trooper recovered eight “cloned” cards from the suspect. The suspect admitted that he did not have shipping documents for the diesel fuel nor a permit from the Comptroller’s Office to transport it, according to investigators.

Torres is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID collaborated with the Department of Public Safety and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, Secret Service and Border Patrol in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Hidalgo County.

June 10

Onnis Alvarez Rubio, 48, of Dallas and Robert Carlos Rodriguez Gonzalez, 27, of Irving were arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally acquire diesel fuel from multiple locations throughout Dallas and Tarrant counties in early May.

The suspects allegedly structured a scheme to steal bankcard information by placing skimming devices inside fuel pumps. Using that information, they allegedly “cloned” bankcards used to obtain goods, diesel fuel and services and withdraw money from the owners’ accounts.

Investigators reportedly confiscated 20 skimmer devices from fuel pumps and more than 150 cloned cards from the suspects. The cards have been linked to the acquisition of 705 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $1,500, reports show.

For failing to pay backup taxes, Rubio and Gonzalez are charged with motor fuel tax evasion as well as transporting motor fuel without shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Rubio is also charged with engaging in fuel transactions without a permit, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Azle Police Department and the Parker County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Dallas and Tarrant counties.

June 8

Armando Noguera Batista, 26, of Houston was arrested on warrants for recently filed indictments for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to illegally acquire diesel fuel from a chain supermarket in Katy last January.

Batista was indicted in March for motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by up two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with fraudulent use or possession of less than five items of identifying information, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

On Jan. 24, a store employee observed a suspicious fuel transaction and contacted local police. During a subsequent traffic stop, the defendant was found to be in possession of two “cloned” cards. In addition, his pickup truck was outfitted with a modified tank mounted in the bed, along with a pump, hose and a metered nozzle, which qualified it as a motor fuel transport vehicle.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

June 4

Ryan Scott McGary, 31, of Odessa was indicted for using a company-issued fuel card to illegally obtain approximately 75 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $225 at a chain convenience store in Andrews last fall.

McGary is charged with credit/debit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

On Nov. 18, 2019, the defendant allegedly was approached by a former employee to assist in the illegal acquisition of diesel fuel in Ector and Andrews counties. The former employee remains under investigation for unlawfully acquiring more than 222 gallons of diesel worth more than $500.

CID assisted the FBI’s Permian Basin Oilfield Task Force in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Andrews County.

Jorge Hernandez-Guerra, 32, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to fraudulently obtain almost 167 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $434 in Houston last winter.

Guerra is accused of engaging in a fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also has been charged with credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

On Jan. 29, local police reportedly observed the defendant pumping diesel fuel into an auxiliary tank of his modified pickup truck. The hidden tank spanned the entire depth of the truck bed and was designed to receive, transport and dispense fuel.

The defendant allegedly made five unauthorized transactions. Investigators confiscated a “cloned” gift card from him after he allegedly attempted to dispose of multiple cards prior to being searched.

CID assisted the Houston Police Department’s Highway Interdiction and Financial Crimes Proactive units in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Alayn Perez-Ramos, 28, of Miami, Fla. was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully purchase approximately 35 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $99 from a Katy gas station last fall.

Ramos is charged with engaging in a fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with fraudulent possession of less than five items of identifying information, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

On Nov. 12, local police reportedly observed the suspect dispensing fuel into the auxiliary tank of a pickup truck equipped with nozzles, pumps and hoses concealed in the truck bed. An inspection of the vehicle determined it had been modified to operate as a motor fuel transport vehicle.

During a subsequent search, the defendant and a passenger were found to be in possession of “cloned” credit cards.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Chery Morin-Alarcon, 41, of Hialeah, Fla. was indicted on June 4 for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 188 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $847 from a chain convenience store in Baytown last winter.

Alarcon is charged with engaging in a fuel transaction without a permit and credit card abuse against an elderly person, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Records show that the defendant has two similar felony cases pending in Harris and Fort Bend counties.

On Feb. 26, local police responded to a complaint about suspicious transactions under way by a familiar customer implicated in previous unauthorized purchases. The suspect was detained and found to be in possession of a “cloned” card used in the transaction.

Investigators discovered that his pickup truck had been modified with an auxiliary tank concealed in the truck bed and designed to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of motor fuel.

CID assisted the Baytown Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

June 2

Tam Duc Tran, 43, of Fort Worth was arrested for allegedly trafficking in illegal decals for coin-operated amusement machines at his Fort Worth game room last spring.

Acting on a city Code Enforcement complaint, a CID investigator inspecting Y&G Gift Shop in March identified 21 “8-liner” electronic slot machines operating without proper authorization. Two of them had plastic tape covering the state decals which invalidated the tax decals; the 19 other machines displayed no state tax decals.

Evidence showed that the machines’ owner had signed and filed false decal applications in August 2019 despite presenting them as true and genuine.

Tran is charged for tampering with a governmental record with the intent to defraud or harm, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

June 1

Charles Ray Marcus, 38, of Arlington was arrested for operating amusement machines in a Fort Worth game room without a license or certificate and giving false identifying information to a peace officer who had him lawfully detained.

Last February, at the request of city police and Code Enforcement, CID inspected Captain Jack’s game room. The investigator discovered that the manager was using another name to conceal his identity as a fugitive with multiple outstanding regional warrants and a felony fraud warrant, all of which were issued in 2019.

The investigator also determined that neither the game room’s owner nor the suspect, who owned four of the machines, had a general business license or registration certificate to operate or display amusement machines.

Marcus is charged with operating without a coin-operated amusement machine license or registration certificate and failure to identify himself to a peace officer as a fugitive from justice. Both offenses are Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine up of $4,000 or both. The accompanying arrest warrants were served on the suspect in Tarrant County Jail.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

January to March

March 2020

March 23

Rosbel La Rosa Acebo, 37, of Miami, Fla. was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain more than 39 gallons of diesel fuel worth $100 from a chain convenience store in Baytown last fall.

Acebo is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also are charging him with felony fraudulent possession/use of identifying information.

On Oct. 18, 2019, after confronting the defendant, a store loss prevention officer contacted local police. Upon arrival, they confiscated 11 “cloned” cards from him. Investigators also discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of his pickup truck.

CID assisted the Baytown Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

March 13

Daniel Baez Marrero, 25, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain 35 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $88 from a Katy gas station.

Marrero is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also have charged him with fraudulent use/possession of more than 10 but less than 50 credit/debit cards, also a second-degree felony.

On Feb. 12, during a joint surveillance operation, investigators observed the defendant making suspicious transactions at a fuel pump. After he left in his pickup truck, a subsequent traffic stop by local police yielded 12 “cloned” cards. They also reported discovering a modified auxiliary tank mounted in the truck bed along with hoses, nozzles and meters designed to receive, transport and dispense fuel.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

March 12

Mario Fernandez Cruz, 27, of Miami Gardens, Fla. was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain 89 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $224 from a Houston convenience store last December.

Cruz is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license. Local authorities also have charged both him and a passenger in his vehicle, Leandro Cancino-Beldarrain, with fraudulent use/possession of counterfeit credit cards. Both offenses are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Investigators conducting joint surveillance reportedly observed the defendant engaging in multiple fuel transactions before leaving the premises. During a subsequent traffic stop, they confiscated eight “cloned” charge cards from the two suspects. They also discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of the pickup truck, which had been modified to receive, transport and dispense fuel, reports show.

CID and the Houston Police Department collaborated in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Pedro Rojero Jr., 42, of Fabens pleaded guilty in an El Paso County district court to unlawful motor fuel transportation, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and five years’ probation. He also was fined $1,300 plus court costs and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.

Rojero admitted transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The defendant was arrested in June 2017 for transporting 228 gallons of dyed diesel fuel in an auxiliary tank hidden in the bed of his pickup truck. He had obtained the fuel from an oil company storage facility using his and another person's agricultural user permits.

In Texas, non-taxable diesel is dyed red to distinguish it from taxable diesel. Red dyed diesel is authorized almost exclusively for off-road, agricultural use by permit-holders only.

Evidence showed that Rojero had illegally acquired more than 200,000 gallons of untaxed fuel and taken it into Mexico in 2016 and 2017.

March 11

Wilmer Garcia Brizuela, 41, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to unlawfully obtain almost 70 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $170 from a Porter gas station.

Investigators reportedly observed the suspect conducting a suspicious purchase by dispensing fuel from a pump into an auxiliary tank located in the bed of the suspect’s pickup truck. Upon apprehension during a subsequent traffic stop, they confiscated 12 “cloned” gift cards hidden inside the suspect’s vehicle, according to reports.

Investigators also discovered that the vehicle had been modified with concealed auxiliary pumps and nozzles designed to receive, transport and dispense fuel without additional equipment, according to reports.

Brizuela is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office assisted CID in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Montgomery County.

Pavel Rodriguez-Jimenez, 39, of Austin was arrested for alleged using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain approximately 76 gallons of diesel fuel worth $200 from an Austin convenience store.

Investigators conducting surveillance followed the suspect’s vehicle to the store after observing a 100-gallon auxiliary fuel tank, fuel pump, hose and nozzle in the truck bed, partially hidden by two toolboxes. They reportedly witnessed the suspect making two suspicious purchases using multiple charge cards before departing.

Upon apprehension outside a nearby restaurant, investigators confiscated 32 “cloned” cards, including two gift cards allegedly used in the fraudulent transactions.

Rodriguez-Jimenez is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

March 10

Ernesto Jesus Rodriguez-Izaguirre, 28, of Austin pleaded guilty in a Travis County district court to motor fuel tax evasion and credit/debit card abuse. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and eight and five years’ probation, to be served concurrently, in lieu of six-year and two-year prison sentences, respectively. He also was fined $2,000 plus court costs and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

The evasion offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Credit/debit card abuse is a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

The defendant admitted using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 74 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $200 from a Pflugerville convenience store in March 2018.

Investigators conducting joint surveillance observed the defendant making two suspicious transactions at the store. He twice pumped diesel fuel into the supply tank of his gasoline-powered pickup truck before officers blocked it with their vehicles in an adjacent parking lot.

During the arrest, they discovered a 200-gallon auxiliary fuel tank concealed under the cover of the truck bed, along with a reverse system to pump the fuel into the concealed tank without removing the cover. They also confiscated several “cloned” credit and debit cards.

CID and the Travis County Sheriff’s Office collaborated in the investigation of the case.

Jack Ward Griffith, 72, of Fort Worth was arrested for running an illegal gaming operation and an amusement machine repair business without a license or registration.

On Feb. 26, during an inspection of Captain Jack’s in Fort Worth, investigators found eight amusement machines belonging to Griffith that allegedly bore no state tax decals. They also discovered a machine repair shop in a back room.

Griffith is charged with operating coin-operated amusement machines without the required license or registration certificate, along with operating an amusement machine repair business without a license. Each offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

CID assisted the Fort Worth Police and Code Enforcement departments in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

March 9

Eduardo Castro Figueredo, 30, of Spring was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain more than 77 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $200 from a Katy supermarket in January.

Figueredo is charged with transporting motor 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, as well as unlawful use of a criminal instrument (a pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In addition, local authorities have charged him with fraudulent use/possession of identifying information, specifically between 10 and 50 credit/debit cards, also a second-degree felony.

An employee reportedly observed one of two suspicious transactions at the store’s fueling station and contacted police. The defendant reportedly was seen pumping diesel directly into an auxiliary “bladder” later found to be concealed in the bed of his pickup truck.

Upon apprehension during a subsequent traffic stop, police reportedly confiscated 12 “cloned” credit and debit cards from the defendant. They determined that the vehicle had been modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Bienvenido Montano-Hidalgo, 50, and Marcelino Montano-Hidalgo, 67, both of Houston, pleaded guilty in a Brazoria County district court in February to motor fuel tax evasion and using a vehicle to commit a crime.

They each received deferred adjudication (no final conviction), three years’ probation and $1,000 fines plus court costs. Both were ordered to each perform 160 hours of community service.

The pair admitted evading motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, as well as unlawful use of a criminal instrument (their trucks), a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

Two other charges were dismissed in the plea agreement: engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license and fraudulent use/possession of identifying information, both of which are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The duo and two other suspects were arrested in March 2019 for using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain more than 95 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $250 from a chain convenience store in Pearland.

The defendants used a pickup truck and a box truck that had been modified with hoses, nozzles, electric pumps and auxiliary tanks mounted and concealed in the beds in order to receive, transport and dispense fuel. The foursome reportedly were passing charge cards to each other between the vehicles.

Store employees observed the illegal transactions and alerted Pearland police. They reported that the suspects attempted to conceal and dispose of their wallets and the 49 “cloned” cards confiscated when police arrived.

Raihanul Islam Chowdhury, 64, of Plano was arrested for alleged tobacco tax fraud offenses and misrepresentation involving one of his convenience stores near Denton.

He allegedly was selling tobacco products at Johnny Joe’s in Argyle without a permit, as well as unstamped cigarettes. He also allegedly lied to Comptroller agents about where he was doing business.

Acting on a complaint about illegal cigarette sales, investigators conducted an on-site inspection of the store. The suspect purportedly claimed to have a valid tobacco tax permit, but it pertained to a vacant building next door. Investigators also reportedly found loose, unstamped cigarettes for individual sale out of an open pack near a cash register.

State law requires cigarettes be sold in cartons or unopened packs to show that tobacco taxes have been paid.

Chowdhury is charged with selling tobacco products without a valid permit, possessing fewer than 10,000 unstamped cigarettes and misleading the Comptroller. Each offense 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 Denton County.

March 4

Loannys Martinez Casa, 37, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain 74 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $188 from a Houston convenience store last December.

Casa is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also have charged him with fraudulently using/possessing counterfeit credit cards, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

On Dec. 11, 2019, officers reportedly observed the defendant conducting three suspicious transactions. Upon apprehension, they allegedly confiscated 33 “cloned” charge cards from a wallet in his possession.

They also discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of his pickup truck. Reports show that it had been modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel.

CID collaborated with the Houston Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Kevin Hernandez, 28, and Robert Herrera, Jr., 27, both of El Paso, were indicted for tobacco tax bookkeeping violations at their El Paso business.

As of August 2019, the co-owners of Hot Box Smoke Shop allegedly had failed to keep books and records for the previous four years. They also are accused of not filing tax returns or reports, not making timely entries and not allowing records inspections or audits.

Investigators initially discovered the alleged infractions during on-site compliance inspections at both store locations last June.

The pair is charged with one count each of books and records offenses, third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The cases are pending prosecution in El Paso County.

March 3

Yarial Montalvan Fernandez, 33, of Houston and Hugo Alberto Rubio Andino, 30, of Round Rock were arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain sizable quantities of diesel fuel from a Round Rock supermarket.

While conducting joint surveillance, investigators observed the suspects arrive in pickup trucks simultaneously at the store’s fueling station and conduct suspicious, separate transactions at adjacent pumps before departing on public roadways. Upon apprehension, officers confiscated from the duo a combined total of 18 “cloned” cards, all but one of which allegedly were in Fernandez’ possession.

Andino allegedly obtained approximately 41 gallons of diesel worth more than $98; Fernandez, approximately 28 gallons worth more than $67. The suspects claimed to have used cards with numbers ending in digits different from those retrieved from the pumps.

Each of their vehicles reportedly contained auxiliary tanks hidden in the truck beds with estimated capacities of 200 gallons apiece, reports show. The trucks had been modified with hoses, nozzles, pumps and meters designed to receive, transport and dispense fuel, according to investigators.

For failing to pay backup taxes, the two suspects each are charged with motor fuel tax evasion, as well as transporting motor fuel without shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

In addition, each suspect is charged with two other felonies: credit/debit card abuse and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the trucks). Fernandez also is charged with felony fraudulent use/possession of credit/debit card information.

The Texas Department of Public Safety and CID jointly investigated the cases, which are pending prosecution in Williamson County.

March 1

Jose Antonio Valencia, 44, of San Angelo pleaded guilty last fall in Upton County Court to hiding dyed diesel fuel, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and six months’ probation. He also was fined $2,000 plus court costs and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.

In September 2019, Valencia admitted concealing motor fuel, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

In February 2019, during a drilling rig site inspection in Upton County, investigators discovered dyed diesel in the fuel tank of the defendant’s pickup truck. He admitted putting it there and driving the truck on public roadways, evidence showed.

In Texas, non-taxable diesel is dyed red to distinguish it from taxable diesel. Red dyed diesel is authorized almost exclusively for off-road, agricultural use by permit-holders only.

Javier Roberto Paraleda, 33, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Brazoria County district court in January to credit card abuse, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and four years’ probation. He was fined $500 plus court costs and ordered to perform 180 hours of community service.

Paraleda admitted making a dozen transactions using re-encoded credit cards belonging to an elderly person to unlawfully obtain more than 718 gallons of motor fuel valued at $1,800 from a chain convenience store in Pearland two years ago. Because the victim is older than 65 years, the offense was upgraded from a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years to a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

A related motor fuel tax evasion charge, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, was dismissed in the plea agreement.

In February 2018, using the “cloned” card, Paraleda pumped fuel into an auxiliary tank concealed in his pickup truck. The vehicle had been modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel, evidence showed.

Investigators claimed that the truck and the confiscated cards were linked to other fraudulent purchases.

Adrian Pages-Cruz, 29, of Austin pleaded guilty last December in a Travis County district court to an unlawful motor fuel transaction, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and three years’ probation. He was fined $500 plus court costs and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service.

Pages-Cruz was under indictment for motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He admitted to a lesser included tax offense, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Dismissed in the plea agreement were related charges of credit/debit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years, and evading arrest, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

In July 2018, the defendant used re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain 99 gallons of diesel fuel worth $288 from an Austin gas station and conceal it in an auxiliary tank hidden in the bed of his pickup truck. It had been modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, evidence showed.

When officers confronted Pages-Cruz, he fled the scene on foot. He was apprehended later when officers served arrest warrants after positively identifying him.

Orlando Goulet-Nazario, 31, of Houston was indicted Feb. 17 for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to fraudulently obtain almost 24 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $61 from a Katy supermarket.

For failing to pay the backup tax, Goulet-Nazario is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (his pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In addition, local authorities have charged him with fraudulent use/possession of 10 or more credit/debit cards, also a second-degree felony.

On Jan. 17, local police reportedly witnessed the defendant at the store’s fueling station using a “cloned” card to obtain diesel fuel and pump it directly into an auxiliary tank concealed in the bed of his pickup. Reports show that the truck had been modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Goulet-Nazario already is under indictment for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain more than 90 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Baytown. Local police confiscated 56 “cloned” cards from the defendant and an accomplice last October.

He is charged with possessing more than 50 counterfeit credit cards, a first-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for five to 99 years or life and a fine of up to $10,000, as well as engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony.

Those cases are pending prosecution in Harris County.

Carlos Lazar Hernandez Cuesta, 34, of Houston was indicted Feb. 17 for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to fraudulently obtain 39 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $100 from a Katy supermarket.

For failing to pay the backup tax, Cuesta is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (his pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In addition, local authorities have charged him with fraudulent use/possession of 5-10 credit/debit cards, also a third-degree felony.

On Jan. 17, local police reportedly observed the defendant at the store’s fueling station using a “cloned” card to obtain diesel fuel and pump it directly into an auxiliary “bladder” concealed in the truck bed. They discovered that the pickup had been modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, reports show.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Mirza Zubair Baig, 55, of Sherman was indicted for untaxed tobacco possession and for the lack of invoicing on tobacco displayed for sale at two Bonham convenience stores last spring.

Baig is charged with two counts of possessing a total of nine pounds of loose tobacco on which more than $50 in taxes are due, as well as with two counts of failure to maintain books and records of tobacco transactions. Both offenses are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In March 2019, investigators seized 139 bags of loose tobacco worth more than $3,000 during inspections at Lucky Food Center and Happy Kampers. The defendant, who owns and operates both businesses, did not produce any invoices showing taxes had been paid on the tobacco.

The cases are pending prosecution in Fannin County.

Yuniet Gonzalez Tamayo, 31, of Austin pleaded guilty last summer in a Travis County district court to attempted unlawful motor fuel transportation, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and two years’ probation. He was fined $500 plus court costs and ordered to perform 150 hours of community service.

Tamayo had been under indictment for motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

In August 2019, the defendant admitted to the lesser included offense of attempting to transport the fuel, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The tax evasion charge was dismissed in the plea agreement.

During a surveillance operation, Tamayo was arrested in June 2017 for transporting 159 gallons of diesel fuel worth $349 in his pickup truck without paying backup tax. He had obtained the fuel from an Austin gas station using a re-encoded credit card, evidence showed.

Yoel Bano Joffre, 25, of Round Rock was indicted last fall for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain approximately 97 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $281 from an Austin grocery store.

On Jan. 14, 2019, investigators reportedly observed the defendant making suspicious transactions at a fuel pump. During a subsequent traffic stop, authorities in Bastrop positively identified the suspect and issued him a traffic citation.

For failing to pay the backup tax, Joffre is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, as well as transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office assisted CID with the case, which is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Osmel Enrique Rodriguez-Escalona, 35, of Houston pleaded guilty last fall in a Harris County district court to an unlawful motor fuel transaction, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and four years’ probation. He was fined $200 plus court costs and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service.

The defendant admitted engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. A related felony charge of fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was dismissed in the plea agreement.

On Oct. 31, 2018, Rodriguez-Escalona used three re-encoded credit cards in making four transactions to unlawfully obtain approximately 95 gallons of diesel fuel worth approximately $238 at a Katy service station. Upon apprehension, investigators confiscated 19 “cloned” charge cards from the defendant.

They determined that he had pumped the diesel into an auxiliary tank concealed in the bed of his pickup truck. It had been modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, evidence showed.

Automobile dealer Ray Daniels, 65, of Austin was indicted in January for allegedly withholding taxes and misusing state funds in 2017-18.

The owner of Austin’s Lopez Auto Group is accused of not sending to the Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector more than $45,000 in motor vehicle sales taxes collected on 324 cars sold from late August 2017 to October 2018. He also allegedly did not complete the vehicles’ title transfers, pocketing more than $37,000 in title and registration fees.

Daniels is charged with failure to remit taxes collected and misapplication of fiduciary property. Based on the dollar amounts involved, the offenses are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Automobile dealer Glenn E. Thompson, 64, of Austin was indicted in January for allegedly withholding taxes and misusing state funds in 2016-17.

The owner of Austin’s T&Y Auto Sales is accused of not sending to the Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector more than $4,450 in motor vehicle sales taxes collected on 39 cars sold from late September 2016 to early August 2017. He also allegedly did not complete the vehicles’ title transfers, pocketing approximately $4,475 in title and registration fees.

Daniels is charged with failure to remit taxes collected and misapplication of fiduciary property. Based on the dollar amounts involved, the offenses are felonies punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.


February 2020

Feb. 27

Arlinton Martinez Ferras, 44, Salvador Perez Camacho, 29, and Alexis Perez, 48, all of Odessa, were arrested for motor fuel tax fraud offenses.

Ferras allegedly obtained stolen dyed diesel and transported and delivered it to Camacho, who allegedly was purchasing it for use in his truck-tractor rigs. Perez allegedly diverted the fuel to Ferras from his employer’s fuel cargo tanker truck destined for other customers.

Officers conducting surveillance on Feb. 26 reportedly observed Ferras driving his van from Odessa to Martin County, where he and the driver of a service truck met Perez. He then allegedly “short-loaded” dyed diesel from a tank truck belonging to an Odessa fuel distributorship where he worked as a driver. Ferras then transported the stolen dyed diesel to a residence in Odessa and dispensed the fuel from a 275-gallon “tote” into several containers, according to reports.

Investigators inspecting the premises discovered a combined total of approximately 1,100 gallons of dyed diesel in the “saddle” tanks of two parked trucks and three 275-gallon plastic totes. Along with the tote, Ferras’ van reportedly modified to transport bulk loads of motor fuel contained hoses and a nozzle and pump. Investigators also discovered dyed diesel in an 80-gallon auxiliary tank in the bed of a pickup truck driven by Camacho, who arrived during the inspection.

Ferras reportedly claimed that he accumulates the fuel because he unloads and filters it when performing truck maintenance. Camacho said he was acquiring the dyed diesel for his trucking business, according to reports. It reportedly was selling for more than a dollar less than the regular rate per gallon.

In Texas, non-taxable diesel is dyed red to distinguish it from taxable diesel. Red dyed diesel is authorized almost exclusively for off-road, agricultural use by permit-holders only.

For unlawfully obtaining untaxed fuel, the three co-defendants each are charged with motor fuel tax evasion. Ferras and Camacho also are charged with transporting motor fuel without cargo manifests or shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

In addition, Ferras is charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the van), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Perez, who was arrested March 13, is charged with transporting motor fuel using a false cargo manifest or shipping document, also a third-degree felony.

CID assisted the Ector, Martin and Howard counties’ Sheriff’s Offices in the investigation of the cases, which are pending prosecution in Ector and Martin counties.

Yamil Hernandez-Valdes, 32, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to fraudulently obtain large quantities of diesel fuel from a Houston gas station.

While conducting surveillance, officers reported observing the suspect pump diesel into his pickup truck, then drive away. During an ensuing traffic stop, investigators discovered two auxiliary fuel tanks partially concealed in the truck bed.

They also confiscated a digital information storage card on which was stored 27 credit and debit card numbers determined not to belong to the suspect, according to reports. The suspect denied owning the card.

Hernandez-Valdes is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transporter license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also have charged him with fraudulent use/possession of credit/debit cards, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

CID assisted the Houston Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Feb. 26

Chery Morin-Alarcon, 41, of Hialeah, Fla. was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to fraudulently obtain more than 188 gallons of diesel fuel worth $450 from a chain convenience store in Baytown.

The suspect is under indictment in a similar case and had been released on bond in January (see below).

Local police responding to a report of a suspicious transaction arrested Morin-Alarcon at the scene. They reported confiscating a “cloned” fleet fuel card and discovered that the suspect’s vehicle had been modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel. Another truck whose driver allegedly was activating the pumps fled the scene.

Morin-Alarcon is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without the requisite license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also have charged him with credit/debit card abuse against an elderly person, also a third-degree felony.

CID assisted the Baytown Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Feb. 27

Reynier Matos-Hernandez, 33, of Odessa was arrested for allegedly hiding 80 gallons of red dyed diesel fuel in an auxiliary fuel tank on his property.

The suspect, who owns and operates Erit Transportation trucking company, claimed he uses the fuel to wash his hands, according to reports.

Investigators made the discovery during a compliance inspection at the suspect’s truck yard. The “L tank” in question was located near his travel trailer behind a chest freezer, tools and towels. Dyed diesel also was found in the fuel tank of one of his truck tractors.

In Texas, non-taxable diesel is dyed red to distinguish it from taxable diesel. Red dyed diesel is authorized almost exclusively for off-road, agricultural use by permit-holders only.

Matos-Hernandez is charged with concealing motor fuel, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

CID assisted the Martin County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Ector County.

Feb. 25

Zachary Dale Rucas, 33, of Hico was arrested for allegedly having more than 80 gallons of red dyed diesel fuel in his vehicle without authorization.

An investigator discovered the contraband during a compliance inspection at a drilling site near Big Spring. Both the main supply and auxiliary fuel tanks of the suspect’s pickup truck contained dyed diesel, apparently taken from a storage tank belonging to the rig operator, according to reports.

In Texas, non-taxable diesel is dyed red to distinguish it from taxable diesel. Red dyed diesel is authorized almost exclusively for off-road, agricultural use by permit-holders only.

Rucas is charged with concealing motor fuel, 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 Howard County.

Kenny Wayne Holcombe, 34, of Gonzales was arrested for allegedly having eight gallons of red dyed diesel fuel in his vehicle without authorization.

During a compliance inspection at a drilling site near Big Spring, investigators discovered the contraband in the main supply tank of the suspect’s pickup, reports show.

In Texas, non-taxable diesel is dyed red to distinguish it from taxable diesel. Red dyed diesel is authorized almost exclusively for off-road, agricultural use by permit-holders only.

Holcombe is charged with concealing motor fuel, 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 Howard County.

Feb. 19

Reynier Salcedo Milanes, 38, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court to an unlawful motor fuel transaction, receiving four years’ probation in lieu of a 10-year prison sentence. He also was fined $500 plus court costs and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service.

He admitted engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In November 2018, Milanes used re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain large quantities of diesel fuel from a Baytown convenience store and conceal it in an auxiliary tank hidden in the bed of his pickup truck. It had been modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, evidence showed.

Rafael Luis Quintero Cutino, 24, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to unlawfully obtain almost 50 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $125 from a Katy gas station.

A local police detective witnessed the transaction and apprehended the suspect, confiscating numerous “cloned” cards. The suspect’s pickup truck was found to have been modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel, according to reports.

Cutino is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without the requisite license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also have charged him with fraudulent use/possession of a credit/debit card, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

In a separate case, Cutino is serving five years’ probation for fraudulent use/possession of 10-50 items of identifying information, also a second-degree felony, in 2018. Authorities are seeking to revoke his probation given under deferred adjudication and obtain a final conviction and new sentence.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Feb. 17

Chery Morin-Alarcon, 41, of Hialeah, Fla. was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to fraudulently obtain almost 40 gallons of diesel fuel worth $100 from a Katy supermarket.

On Jan. 17, a cashier reportedly witnessed the suspect at the store’s fueling station use a “cloned” card to obtain diesel fuel and pump it directly into an auxiliary tank concealed under a cover in the bed of his pickup truck. The employee contacted local police who apprehended the suspect at the scene.

Officers determined that the vehicle had been outfitted with a hose and nozzle to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

For failing to pay the backup tax, Morin-Alarcon is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In addition, local authorities have charged him with fraudulent use/possession of 10-50 items of identifying information, also a second-degree felony.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Cue Isabel Hernandez, 33, of Houston was indicted for allegedly driving the vehicle used to fraudulently obtain more than 78 gallons of diesel fuel worth $200 from a Katy supermarket.

On Jan. 17, a cashier reportedly witnessed her alleged co-defendant, Angel Moya, 57, of Cypress, use a re-encoded charge card to obtain diesel fuel at the store’s fueling station and pump it directly into an auxiliary tank concealed in the bed of a pickup truck driven by the defendant. The employee contacted local police with a description of the pink-haired driver.

During a subsequent traffic stop, officers determined that the vehicle had been modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel. It reportedly contained a hose, pump, nozzle and a 100-gallon “bladder” concealed beneath a tool box mounted in the bed of the truck. They also confiscated several “cloned” cards.

Hernandez is charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. For failing to pay the backup tax, Moya has been charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In addition, local authorities have charged both suspects with fraudulent use/possession of between five and 10 items of identifying information, also a third-degree felony.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Karel Machado-Almeida, 32, of Deltona, Fla. and Randolph Pedrosa, 40, of Noble, Okla. were arrested for allegedly evading motor fuel taxes and hauling diesel fuel unlawfully.

A state trooper stopped the pair, each of whom were driving flatbed pickup trucks on a public roadway in the northern Panhandle. Welded to the undersides of the trucks were two 371-gallon tanks full of diesel, according to reports.

Pumps were attached to the tanks, and hoses and nozzles were found in the tool boxes, reports show, indicating that the vehicles had been modified to receive, transport and dispense fuel.

For failing to pay the backup taxes, Machado-Almeida and Pedrosa each are charged with motor fuel tax evasion, as well as with transporting motor fuel without cargo manifests or shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

CID assisted the Texas Department of Public Safety in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Carson County.

Pedro Leonard Fernandez-Bello, 24, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Fort Bend County district court to two motor fuel tax evasion charges, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and seven years’ probation. He also was fined $3,000 and ordered to pay almost $500 in restitution, plus court costs and fees.

He must perform 200 hours of community service and have no contact with the convenience store chain he victimized. He will serve his sentences concurrently.

Fernandez-Bello admitted to evading motor fuel tax and purchasing motor fuel with intent to evade tax. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

A felony credit/debit card abuse case filed by local authorities was dismissed in the plea agreement.

Fernandez-Bello used re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from one of the company’s stores in Katy last June.

An employee observed him using “cloned” cards at one of the fuel pumps and notified Katy police, who arrested him during a subsequent traffic stop. A search revealed a modified storage tank mounted in the bed of the suspect’s pickup truck, reports show.

Feb. 12

Adrian Cardenas-Martinez, 30, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court to fraudulently acquiring motor fuel, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and three years’ probation. He also was ordered to pay court costs and related fees.

He admitted engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transporter's license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. A related felony charge of fraudulent use/possession of identifying information was dismissed in the plea agreement.

Cardenas-Martinez admitted using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a Katy gas station in September 2018.

Investigators discovered that the suspect's box truck had been modified with auxiliary tanks, hoses and nozzles to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel. They also reportedly found 106 "cloned" charge cards in his possession.

Antonio Alfonso-Miguel, 30, of Katy was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain at least 40 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $100 from two Katy retail businesses.

Officers previously had observed the suspect at multiple locations obtaining undetermined amounts of diesel fuel and off-loading it into commercial trucks in a vacant lot before driving to the final location.

During a joint surveillance operation, investigators spotted the suspect leaving a fuel yard in a pickup truck bearing an auxiliary fuel tank. Reports show that he made several suspicious fuel transactions at a gas station and discount chain store fueling station before off-loading diesel into commercial trucks in a vacant lot.

After the last transaction, a subsequent traffic stop by local police yielded 32 “cloned” cards.

Alfonso-Miguel is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In addition, local authorities have charged him with fraudulent use/possession of more than 10 but less than 50 credit/debit cards, also a second-degree felony.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and the Harris County Constable’s Office in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Daniel Baez Marrero, 25, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain 35 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $88 from a Katy gas station.

During a joint surveillance operation, investigators observed the suspect making suspicious transactions at a fuel pump. A subsequent traffic stop by local police yielded 12 “cloned” cards.

Marrero is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Local authorities also have charged him with fraudulent use/possession of more than 10 but less than 50 credit/debit cards, also a second-degree felony.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and the Harris County Constable’s Office in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Jawed Sagani, 48, of Euless was arrested in late January for offering unstamped cigarettes for sale at his Fort Worth convenience store.

During a compliance inspection of MK Food Mart, investigators discovered 52 loose cigarettes in a cigar box near the cash register and drive-through window. State law requires cigarettes to be sold in packs or cartons so that the tax stamps are visible and remain intact.

Sagani is charged with possessing 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 case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Investigators also found a coin-operated amusement machine without a valid tax decal. The machine was sealed, a Class C misdemeanor citation was issued.

Feb. 11

Raydel Fernandez, 31, of Edinburg and Efren Herrera Sanchez, 43, of Ciudad Rio Bravo, Tamaulipas, Mexico were arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain more than 100 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $275 from two retail businesses in Edinburg.

While conducting surveillance at an Edinburg convenience store and a gas station, state troopers reported observing Sanchez, the driver, make suspicious transactions at the pumps of both locations.

During the arrest, they discovered two fuel tanks in the rear of the suspects’ pickup truck, which bore Mexican license plates, including one concealed in the bed. Officers allegedly confiscated 41 “cloned” cards from Fernandez, the passenger.

For failing to pay the backup taxes, Fernandez and Sanchez are charged with motor fuel tax evasion, as well as with transporting motor fuel without cargo manifests or shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

CID assisted the Texas Department of Public Safety in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Hidalgo County.

Feb. 8

Ahmad Ismail, 55, of Arlington was arrested for offering unstamped cigarettes for sale at his Dallas convenience store.

During a compliance inspection in response to a complaint, investigators discovered 74 loose cigarettes in a cigarillo box inside Ruben’s Grocery. State law requires cigarettes to be sold in packs or cartons so that the tax stamps are visible and remain intact.

Ismail is charged with possessing 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 case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Feb. 7

Mahesh Gartaula, 38, of Fort Worth was arrested for allegedly selling cigarettes at his Arlington convenience store without a permit and lying to CID investigators.

On Jan. 20, acting on an anonymous tip, investigators conducting surveillance at William Food Mart observed a customer purchasing two single cigarettes. During a subsequent inspection, they discovered an open pack behind the counter from which the cigarettes were sold.

State law requires cigarettes to be sold in packs or cartons so that the tax stamps are visible and remain intact.

When investigators found no valid sales tax or cigarette and tobacco retail permits on display, they contacted the suspect, the store’s owner. After failing to keep an appointment, he claimed to have permit applications pending with a private firm. When a records check showed no valid permits on file, the suspect allegedly admitted he was planning to submit photographs of permits belonging to the previous owner.

Gartaula is charged with selling tobacco products without a valid permit and with misleading the Comptroller’s office. Both offenses are Class A misdemeanors 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.

Feb. 5

Francisco Javier Aguiar-Leon, 49, of Katy pleaded guilty in a Fort Bend County district court to two motor fuel tax evasion charges, receiving three years’ probation in lieu of a 10-year prison sentence. He also was fined $4,000 plus restitution, court costs and other fees.

He also was ordered to perform 120 hours of community service and apologize in writing to the company he victimized.

Aguiar-Leon was charged with the enhanced offense of motor fuel tax evasion, as well as attempted evasion. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The defendant admitted using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 52 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 from a chain convenience store in Katy in September of 2018. Katy police confiscated several “cloned” cards during his arrest.

An employee reportedly observed him placing a pump nozzle directly into a hose connected to an auxiliary "bladder" concealed in the rear passenger area of a van. It had been modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel.

Feb. 4

Glaubely Vazquez Moreira, 34, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain more than 40 gallons of diesel fuel worth $100 from a Houston gas station.

During a joint surveillance operation, investigators observed the suspect making suspicious transactions at two stations, the first of which was unsuccessful. Upon apprehension after the second, a search reportedly yielded 12 “cloned” cards in the suspect’s wallet.

Investigators discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of the suspect’s pickup truck. It had been modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, reports show.

Moreira is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without the requisite license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also have charged him with fraudulent use/possession of more than 10 but less than 50 credit/debit cards, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Houston Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.


January 2020

Jan. 30

Florencio Andrade Hernandez, 48, and Marco Antonio Nunez Martinez, 40, both of Brownsville, and Pablo Luis Narvaez Alvarez, 67, of San Benito were arrested for allegedly buying and using gasoline diverted by a truck driver to a Brownsville trucking company site last summer and fall.

On five occasions in August, September and October, Jose Cipriano Guerrero Sanchez, 44, a Mexican national, allegedly off-loaded thousands of gallons of gas from trucks belonging to a Mexican cargo firm into drums at a freight yard, instead of delivering them to the purchaser in Mexico. The practice, known as “short loading,” circumvents state law that exempts exported gasoline from tax.

Hernandez is accused of buying six drums containing approximately 90 gallons of gas from Alvarez for $25 apiece. Martinez allegedly bought one drum from Alvarez, who was acquiring the gas from Sanchez.

Hernandez and Martinez each are charged with motor fuel tax evasion for failing to pay the required backup taxes. Martinez and Alvarez, who allegedly drove vehicles containing bulk loads of the untaxed gas on public roadways, also are charged with transporting motor fuel without proper shipping documents. In addition, Alvarez is charged with accepting motor fuel delivered without receiving a shipping document.

All the offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Sanchez, who was arrested in mid-December at a border crossing in Pharr, is charged with five counts of motor fuel distribution without paying taxes owed, also a second-degree felony. In addition, he is charged with five counts of motor fuel transportation using a false manifest, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Texas Department of Public Safety CID in the investigation of the cases, which are pending prosecution in Cameron County.

Jan. 29

Jorge Hernandez-Guerra, 32, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain large quantities of diesel fuel worth more than $100 from a Houston gas station.

Local police observed the suspect pumping diesel into a pickup truck. As they approached him, he threw several apparently damaged cards into a trash can, according to reports. Officers said they confiscated one card in his possession. They allege that he made five unauthorized transactions with “cloned” gift cards.

Reports show that the vehicle had been outfitted to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel. Investigators discovered an auxiliary tank concealed in and spanning the entire depth and length of the truck bed.

Hernandez-Guerra is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also have charged him with fraudulent use/possession of credit/debit cards, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

CID assisted the Houston Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Jan. 28

Andy Nunez-Leon, 34, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain more than 37 gallons of diesel fuel worth $99 from a Katy gas station.

Local police reportedly observed the suspect pumping diesel into a pickup truck. They claim to have confiscated 22 “cloned” credit cards in his possession.

Reports show that the vehicle had been outfitted to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel. Investigators discovered an auxiliary tank concealed in and spanning the entire length of the suspect’s flatbed truck.

Nunez-Leon is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also have charged him with credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in state jail for six months up to two years.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Jan. 27

Justin Michael Strait, 32, of Galveston pleaded no contest in a Galveston County court-at-law to a cigars and tobacco products tax violation last spring. He received deferred adjudication (no final conviction), two years’ probation and a $1,000 fine; he also was ordered to pay other costs and perform 24 hours of community service.

The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

Strait originally was charged with selling tobacco without a permit and not paying tobacco taxes, also a Class A misdemeanor. He also was indicted for failure to produce records of tobacco sales during an inspection, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Those charges were dismissed in the plea agreement.

In April 2019, Strait ignored verbal and written demands from investigators who inspected his bar, Brew’s Brothers, in Galveston. They seized tobacco products displayed for sale there because its state permit had expired.

Jan. 22

Eduardo Castro Figueredo, 30, of Spring was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain more than 77 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $200 from a Katy supermarket.

An employee reportedly observed one of two suspicious transactions at the store’s fueling station and contacted local authorities. The suspect reportedly was seen pumping diesel directly into an auxiliary “bladder” later found to be concealed in the bed of his pickup truck.

During a subsequent traffic stop, police reportedly confiscated 12 “cloned” credit and debit cards from the suspect. They determined that the vehicle had been modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

Figueredo is charged with transporting motor 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, as well as unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In addition, local authorities have charged him with fraudulent use/possession of between 10 and 50 credit/debit cards, also a second-degree felony.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Roberto Karel Merino Lisabet, 32, of Austin was indicted in November for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain 36 gallons of diesel fuel worth $100 from a chain convenience store and driving the vehicle containing it on a public roadway in the Austin area last spring.

For failing to pay the backup tax, Lisabet is charged with motor fuel tax evasion. He also is charged with transporting motor fuel without proper shipping documents. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Jan. 21

Rolando Rosabal Dominguez, 44, of San Antonio was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain almost 100 gallons of diesel fuel worth $250 and driving the vehicle containing it on a public roadway in the San Antonio area.

While conducting surveillance, officers reportedly observed the suspect filling his pickup truck with diesel three times in less than an hour at three different convenience stores in Bexar County. During a subsequent traffic stop in Leon Valley, investigators discovered an auxiliary tank concealed in the bed of the suspect’s pickup truck containing the diesel fuel, reports show.

They also reported confiscating nine “cloned” debit and credit cards. The suspect claimed to have purchased the diesel with a different card.

For failing to pay the backup tax, Dominguez is charged with motor fuel tax evasion. He also is charged with transporting motor fuel without proper shipping documents. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID participated in a task force including the Texas Department of Public Safety, San Antonio Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Bexar County.

Orlando Goulet-Nazario, 31, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to fraudulently obtain almost 24 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $61 from a Katy supermarket.

Local police reportedly witnessed the suspect at the store’s fueling station use a “cloned” card to obtain diesel fuel and pump it directly into an auxiliary tank concealed in the bed of his pickup truck. Reports show that the vehicle had been outfitted to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

For failing to pay the backup tax, Goulet-Nazario is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In addition, local authorities have charged him with fraudulent use/possession of 10 or more credit/debit cards, also a second-degree felony.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Goulet-Nazario already is under indictment for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain more than 90 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Baytown. Local police confiscated 56 “cloned” cards from the defendant and an accomplice last October.

He is charged with possessing more than 50 counterfeit credit cards, a first-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for five to 99 years or life and a fine of up to $10,000, along with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony.

Those cases are pending prosecution in Harris County.

Jan. 17

Angel Moya, 57, of Cypress and Cue Isabel Hernandez, 33, of Houston were arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to fraudulently obtain more than 78 gallons of diesel fuel worth $200 from a Katy supermarket.

A cashier reportedly witnessed Moya at the store’s fueling station use a “cloned” card to obtain diesel fuel and pump it directly into an auxiliary tank concealed in the bed of a pickup truck driven by Hernandez. Upon observing two such transactions, the employee contacted local police with a description of the driver, including pink hair.

During a subsequent traffic stop, officers determined that the vehicle had been outfitted to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel. It reportedly included a hose, pump, nozzle and a 100-gallon “bladder” concealed beneath a tool box mounted in the bed of the truck.

For failing to pay the backup tax, Moya is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Hernandez is charged with transporting motor 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, as well as unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In addition, local authorities have charged both suspects with fraudulent use/possession of between five and 10 items of identifying information, also a third-degree felony.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Carlos Lazar Hernandez Cuesta, 34, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to fraudulently obtain 39 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $100 from a Katy supermarket.

Local police reportedly witnessed the suspect at the store’s fueling station use a “cloned” card to obtain diesel fuel and pump it directly into an auxiliary “bladder” concealed in the bed of his pickup truck. They discovered that the vehicle had been outfitted to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, reports show.

For failing to pay the backup tax, Cuesta is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In addition, local authorities have charged him with fraudulent use/possession of 5-10 credit/debit cards, also a third-degree felony.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Pedro Rojero Jr., 42, of Fabens was indicted for allegedly transporting 228 gallons of dyed diesel fuel in two pickup trucks in the summer of 2017.

He allegedly filled external fuel tanks on the vehicles with diesel obtained from an oil company storage facility using his and another's agricultural user permits. Evidence shows that the defendant illegally acquired more than 200,000 gallons of untaxed fuel and took it into Mexico in 2016-17.

Rojero is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping document, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

In Texas, non-taxable diesel is dyed red to distinguish it from taxable diesel. Red dyed diesel is authorized almost exclusively for off-road, agricultural use by permit-holders only.

The case is pending prosecution in El Paso County.

Jan. 14

Yoel Mora, 36, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to fraudulently obtain sizable amounts of diesel fuel from a Houston convenience store.

During surveillance, local police reportedly witnessed the suspect pumping diesel directly into an auxiliary “bladder” concealed in the bed of his pickup truck. Upon apprehension, they confiscated several “cloned” cards and discovered that the vehicle had been outfitted with pumps and nozzles to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, reports show.

Mora is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping document, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

In addition, local authorities have charged him with fraudulent use/possession of 5-10 credit/debit cards, also a third-degree felony.

CID assisted the Houston Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Jan. 13

William Froelim Euceda, 46, of Harlingen paid more than $10,000 in restitution in exchange for prosecutors’ dropping charges alleging he offered for sale tobacco products on which he owed several hundred dollars in state taxes in 2018.

The sum represents back taxes on tobacco that had gone unpaid during the four years preceding this offense. A Cameron County district judge dismissed the case under a pre-trial diversion initiative.

Euceda had been charged with possessing tobacco products having more than $50 in taxes due. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case arose from inspections of Euceda’s three convenience stores in Harlingen and San Benito in October 2018. Investigators reportedly found tobacco wrapping papers ordered on line from an out-of-state wholesale distributor that does not have a Texas tobacco tax permit. A records analysis determined that other tobacco products also had been purchased through the internet without paying Texas taxes.

Jan. 10

Mario Vela Rodriguez, 52, of Hockley was indicted on three counts of allegedly falsifying and concealing sales tax records.

Avendano, who ran a now-defunct diesel engine repair business in Waller, is accused of filing a yearly report in June 2019 that misstated total sales and understated taxable sales and taxes due (i.e., zero) for the 2017 tax year. Each offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Waller Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Waller County.

Jan. 8

Pedro Ruiz Crespo, 47; Cruz Plasencia, 45; and Jorge Felix Lopez, 34, all of Houston were arrested for allegedly participating in a scheme to unlawfully obtain and sell diesel fuel without paying state taxes.

Local police reportedly observed Crespo and Plasencia drive pickup trucks into a trucking yard, where they allegedly dispensed diesel from tanks hidden in the truck beds into two large “bladder” containers – one on a truck trailer and one on the ground – belonging to Lopez, a semi-tractor trailer driver.

Crespo and Plasencia are charged with transporting motor fuel without cargo manifests or shipping documents, and Lopez is charged with accepting delivery of motor fuel without receiving a shipping document. Both offenses 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 Harris County.

Jan. 7

Mario Vela Rodriguez, 52, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain more than 200 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $300 from three Houston-area gas stations.

A state trooper conducting surveillance reportedly observed the suspect obtaining and pumping diesel directly into oversized “saddle” tanks on either side of his cargo box truck, then drove on public roadways. During a subsequent traffic stop in New Caney, another trooper confiscated 11 “cloned” gift and credit cards. He also discovered that the vehicle contained auxiliary pumps in the tool box area and had been modified to connect hoses and nozzles to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, reports show.

Rodriguez is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping document, 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 Montgomery County.

Jan. 2

Mark A. Liscano, 28, a Kyle auto dealer, was indicted for allegedly withholding more than $11,000 in taxes and fees collected on sales in 2017 and 2018.

The suspect, who owns and operates a Websmart Auto Group dealership, is accused of failing to remit to the state almost $7,400 in motor vehicle sales taxes and more than $3,800 in vehicle title and registration fees collected on 34 vehicle sales.

Liscano is charged with failure to remit taxes collected and misapplication of fiduciary property, both felonies punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

The case is pending prosecution in Hays County.

Wadvens Dorelus, 25, of Hialeah, Fla. pleaded guilty in a Bell County district court to forging a state government check, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and five years’ probation; he also was ordered to pay almost $6,300 in restitution plus court and other costs.

He admitted to forgery by making, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

In June 2018, Dorelus illegally acquired a check for unused vacation time belonging to a newly retired state employee from Killeen. The defendant deposited the check into his personal bank account via an automatic teller machine.

Augusto Cesar Gutierrez, 30, of Houston and Cristian Mauricio Morales, 27, of Miami, Fla. pleaded guilty in a Waller County district court to credit card abuse related to fuel tax fraud, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction), three years’ probation, $1,000 fines plus court costs and 50 hours each of community service.

The offense is a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

For sentencing purposes, both defendants admitted to but were not convicted of motor fuel tax evasion (i.e., failing to pay backup taxes), a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Those charges were dismissed in the plea agreement, but they must attend an anti-theft class at their own expense.

Last October, the pair used re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel at a Brookshire truck stop. A cardholder alerted local police when his bank notified him that one of his cards was in use.

During their subsequent arrest, investigators found in their possession “cloned” cards used in the transactions. They also discovered an auxiliary tank concealed in the bed of the pickup truck used to store the fuel.

CID assisted the Brookshire Police Department in the investigation of the case.

Alicia Gomez Coronel, 42, an El Paso store manager, has been indicted for failing to produce tobacco invoices and sales records required by state tax law.

The offense of refusing inspection of premises and records is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In October 2018, Coronel was managing Mandi’s Grocery when CID investigators attempted to inspect the premises. Its tobacco retailer permit had expired, and she and other employees did not produce any proof that taxes had been paid on the tobacco products for sale there.

Investigators subsequently confiscated 249 packs of cigarillos from the store.

The case is pending prosecution in El Paso County.

2019

October to December

December 2019

Dec. 19

Rafael Perez Hung, 32, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain a sizable quantity of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Pearland.

For failing to pay backup tax, he is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also have charged him with felony fraudulent use/possession of credit/debit cards.

On Nov. 5, a store employee observed what appeared to be an unlawful transaction at a gas pump and alerted local police.

Upon apprehending the suspect, officers discovered an auxiliary tank mounted in the bed of his pickup truck. Reports show that the tank had been modified with a hose, nozzle, pump and meter to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

CID assisted the Pearland Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Brazoria County.

Dec. 18

Jose Cipriano Guerrero Sanchez, 44, a Mexican national, was arrested at a border crossing in Pharr for allegedly diverting thousands of gallons of gasoline bound for Mexico to a Brownsville trucking company site last summer and fall.

On five occasions in August, September and October, the suspect and an accomplice allegedly unloaded gas from trucks belonging to a Mexican cargo firm into drums at a freight yard, instead of delivering them to the purchaser in Mexico. By state law, exported gasoline is untaxed.

Sanchez is charged with five counts of motor fuel distribution without paying taxes owed, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with five counts of motor fuel transportation using a false manifest, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Similar charges are pending against the accomplice, who remains at large.

CID assisted the Texas Department of Public Safety in the investigation of the cases, which are pending prosecution in Cameron County.

Yoed Anis, 35, of Austin was indicted for allegedly posing as a state employee while trying to sell taxpayer data to a national wine and liquor distributor in 2018.

He is charged with impersonating a public servant, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

At a January 2018 meeting with distributor officials in Farmers Branch, the defendant allegedly offered to sell them a data analytics package for more than half a million dollars, ostensibly prepared by his company, yDrink LLC. The data reportedly included alcohol, beer and wine sales figures organized by ZIP code and store location that could be used for marketing purposes.

The defendant claimed to be an agent of the State of Texas but reportedly declined to identify which agency he worked for. Investigators subsequently determined that the information offered for sale could only have been obtained from a Comptroller database, the Retail Inventory Tracking System.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Dec. 13

Jerry Wayne Graham, 65, of Nacogdoches was arrested for misrepresenting his tax permit status and selling tobacco products without a valid permit last November.

During a compliance inspection at his retail tobacco and vape store, Stuff N Such, an employee produced a tobacco permit for an establishment at an address other than the store being inspected. The suspect allegedly claimed that he had submitted the permit to the Comptroller’s Austin office to add the store’s address.

Upon request, the suspect allegedly produced a sales tax permit for his antiques shop next door, not the tobacco store. Investigators confiscated 15 boxes and eight packages of cigarillos being offered for sale on the premises.

Graham is charged with misleading the Comptroller and selling tobacco products without a valid tax permit. Both offenses are Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Nacogdoches County.

Michael Shane Tucker, 43, of Comanche was indicted for unlawfully obtaining 71 gallons of diesel fuel from a fuel company in 2017.

The defendant is accused of manipulating a fuel pump by turning the key activation device off and on so as to prevent the meter from counting the number of gallons being delivered.

For failing to pay backup tax, Tucker is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Comanche County.

Dec. 12

Deepak Chalise, 48, of Irving pleaded guilty in an Anderson County district court to possessing tobacco in 2018 on which more than $50 in taxes were due.

He received deferred adjudication (no final conviction), four years’ probation and was ordered to pay restitution plus court costs. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Chalise, who owns and operates grocery stores in Tyler and Frankston, admitted possessing sizable quantities of untaxed tobacco at his Tyler store in October 2018. An investigator confiscated dozens of cans of untaxed smokeless tobacco and 163 packs of cigarettes bearing Louisiana tax stamps. Seized from the Frankston store were several packages of pipe tobacco for sale at a price less than the tax liability, reports show.

The defendant also was accused of buying and transporting for resale cigarettes, pipe tobacco and other tobacco products without paying applicable state taxes. Those charges, also third-degree felonies, were dismissed in the plea agreement, as were two separate misdemeanor unstamped cigarette possession charges.

Orlando Goulet-Nazario, 31, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain more than 90 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Baytown last fall.

On Oct. 28, local police confiscated 56 “cloned” cards from the suspect and an accomplice [see Dec. 6 entry], who allegedly used some of them in the four transactions reportedly observed. Investigators discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the cargo bed of the suspects’ pickup truck consistent with motor fuel transportation.

Goulet-Nazario is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged by local authorities with possessing more than 50 counterfeit credit cards, a first-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for five to 99 years or life and a fine of up to $10,000.

CID assisted the Baytown Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Dec. 11

Cody Raymond Johnson, 29, of Caddo Mills was arrested for allegedly withholding title to an auto he sold last spring that has an outstanding lien.

In May 2019, the suspect sold a 2006 sport-utility vehicle for $4,250. After making three installment payments, the buyer was unable to complete the transaction, according to reports, because the suspect allegedly refused to meet with her and transfer title.

Investigators determined that the title actually was held by a title and payday loan company.

Johnson is charged with fraudulent motor vehicle transfer, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years. Records show that the suspect currently is on probation in Rockwall County for forgery, using a false name and submitting false information.

The case is pending prosecution in Gregg County.

Mario Fernandez Cruz, 26, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain sizable quantities of diesel fuel from a Houston convenience store.

Investigators reportedly observed the suspect conducting multiple transactions before leaving the premises. During a subsequent traffic stop, they discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of the suspect’s pickup truck. The vehicle had been modified to receive, transport and dispense fuel, reports show.

Eight “cloned” charge cards were confiscated from the suspect and a passenger.

Cruz is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license. Local authorities also have charged both him and the passenger, Leandro Cancino-Beldarrain, with fraudulently using/possessing counterfeit credit cards. Both offenses are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID and the Houston Police Department collaborated in the investigation of the cases, which are pending prosecution in Harris County.

Loannys Martinez Casa, 36, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain sizable quantities of diesel fuel from a Houston convenience store.

Local police reportedly observed the suspect conducting three suspicious transactions and confiscated 33 “cloned” charge cards from a wallet in his possession. They also discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of his pickup truck. Reports show that it had been modified to receive, transport and dispense fuel.

Casa is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also have charged him with fraudulently using/possessing counterfeit credit cards, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID and the Houston Police Department collaborated in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Dec. 6

Eunelio Blancos, 39, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain more than 100 gallons of diesel fuel from a Houston convenience store.

Local police reportedly observed the suspect conducting multiple transactions and confiscated nine “cloned” charge cards in his possession. Officers also discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of the suspect’s sport-utility vehicle. Reports show that it had been modified to receive, transport and dispense fuel.

Blancos is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license. Local authorities also have charged him with fraudulently using/possessing counterfeit credit cards. Both offenses are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Houston Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Jesus Diaz Lavado, 26, of Miami, Fla. was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 38 gallons of diesel fuel worth $100 from a Conroe convenience store.

A state trooper reportedly observed the suspect pumping diesel directly into one of two oversized “saddle tanks” on either side of his box truck. It had been modified with auxiliary pumps and hose and nozzle connections consistent with receiving, transporting and dispensing fuel, reports show.

For failing to pay backup tax, Lavado is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, as well as with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

In addition, he is charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Texas Department of Public Safety in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Montgomery County.

Yoankys Sotolongo-Torres, 29, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain more than 90 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Baytown last fall.

Sotolongo-Torres is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also have charged him with possessing more than 50 counterfeit credit cards, a first-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for five to 99 years or life and a fine of up to $10,000.

On Oct. 28, local police confiscated 56 “cloned” cards from the defendant and an accomplice; they allegedly used some of them in the four transactions officers reportedly observed. Investigators discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the cargo bed of their pickup truck consistent with motor fuel transporting, reports show.

CID assisted the Baytown Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Dec. 2

Mohammad Yasien Noorani, 51, of Tyler pleaded guilty in a Smith County district court to tobacco tax books and records violations, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and three years’ probation. He also was ordered to pay more than $1,400 in restitution plus court costs.

Noorani also had been accused of possessing tobacco products having more than $50 in taxes due. That charge was considered for sentencing purposes but dismissed in the plea agreement. Both offenses are third-degree felonies, each punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In April 2018, Noorani, who owns and operates MM Novelty in Tyler, bought snuff, cigars, cigarillos, chewing tobacco and other products from vendors in Illinois and Michigan. Acting on a complaint, investigators inspected his store and seized a large quantity of tobacco products.

They subsequently found no valid invoices showing payment of Texas tobacco taxes to the distributors the defendant had identified. Consequently, he was charged with selling out-of-state tobacco products on which more than $1,000 in Texas taxes went unpaid, as well as with failing to keep required records of the transactions.

Arquimedes Cardoso Naranjo, 37, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to fraudulently obtain more than 37 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $100 from a Hempstead meat market last fall.

On Nov. 25, the owner reportedly observed a suspicious transaction at one of the store’s fuel pumps and contacted local authorities. They confiscated several “cloned” cards including the gift card allegedly used when the suspect pumped fuel directly into a “saddle tank” on his box truck.

An inspection revealed that the tank was connected to a fuel “bladder” in the cargo area. The truck had been further modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel, reports show.

For failing to pay backup tax, Naranjo is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, as well as with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In addition, local authorities have charged him with fraudulent use/possession of identifying information, also a second-degree felony, and with credit/debit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

CID assisted the Waller County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Waller County.

Dec. 1

Carlos Sanchez-Martinez, 32, of Homestead, Fla. pleaded guilty in a Burleson County district court to possessing re-encoded charge cards. He received deferred adjudication (no final conviction), three years’ probation and was fined $2,500. He also was ordered to pay court costs and perform 80 hours of community service.

Sanchez-Martinez admitted possessing 11 “cloned” credit and debit cards containing the cardholders’ personal financial data in June 2017. The defendant was indicted last March for fraudulent use and/or possession of identifying information, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Considered for sentencing purposes but dismissed in the plea agreement was a related felony credit card abuse charge, filed locally, punishable by six months up to two years in state jail.

CID assisted the Burleson County District Attorney’s Office in the investigation of the case.

November 2019

Nov. 20

Yasmanis Gutierrez-Gonzalez, 31, of Austin was indicted by a Bell County grand jury on Nov. 13 for using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain approximately 45 gallons of diesel fuel from two Killeen service stations this past summer.

On July 29, after reportedly observing the defendant pumping fuel into a vehicle, investigators confiscated three “cloned” cards from a trash can next to the last pump he had tried to use. One of the cards allegedly was used to acquire diesel.

Gutierrez-Gonzalez is charged with transporting motor fuel without proper shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, as well as with fraudulent possession/use of identifying information, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The defendant already was on probation (deferred adjudication; i.e., no final conviction) in Travis County for a similar offense. Local authorities are seeking to have his probation revoked based on the new indictment.

The case is pending prosecution in Bell County.

Noriel Del Valle Perez, 37, of Katy pleaded guilty in a Fort Bend County district court in September to motor fuel tax evasion, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and seven years’ probation. He also was fined $1,000 and must pay $450 restitution plus court costs and perform 200 hours of community service.

The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Perez admitted using three re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain 169 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Katy last August without paying the required backup tax.

Dismissed in the plea agreement were felony credit card abuse charges related to the purchases made with three of the 11 "cloned" cards confiscated from the defendant.

A store manager alerted Katy police upon observing the suspect using multiple cards to activate a fuel pump. The diesel was pumped into concealed “saddle” compartments flanking the bed of a large flatbed truck modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

Nov. 18

Yeison Valdes Nubiola, 29, of Austin was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to unlawfully obtain almost 38 gallons of diesel fuel worth $100 from a Cibolo convenience store.

During a traffic stop in Schertz, officers discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of the suspect’s pickup truck. They also confiscated several “cloned” charge cards but no fuel transporting license or documentation.

Consequently, Nubiola is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Department of Public Safety in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Guadalupe County.

Nov. 15

Miguel Pulido, 46, of Katy was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain almost 500 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $1,200 from several Katy service stations last April.

Pulido is charged with possessing more than 50 items of identifying information (i.e., the fraudulent cards), a first-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for five to 99 years or life and a fine of up to $10,000. For failing to pay the backup tax, he also is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Local police reportedly witnessed multiple purchases being made by the defendant at four locations before a constable conducted a traffic stop. The officer confiscated 75 “cloned” credit cards and discovered two, 250-gallon “tote tanks” concealed in the cargo area of his box truck, filled almost to capacity. The vehicle also had been modified with hoses, pumps and nozzles designed to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, according to investigators.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Nov. 13

Yoandry Pereira Tamayo, 37, of Tampa, Fla. was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain 38 gallons of diesel fuel worth $95 from a Porter gas station.

An investigator reportedly observed the suspect allegedly pumping diesel into an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of a pickup truck. The tank was discovered, along with the “cloned” card, during a subsequent traffic stop.

Tamayo is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without proper documentation, both second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. He also is charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Local authorities also are charging him with felony credit card abuse.

CID assisted the Department of Public Safety in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Montgomery County.

Nov. 8

Angelita Leyva Casterjon, 50, of Mount Pleasant and Jaime Salmeron, 45, of Leesburg were arrested for allegedly falsifying auto titles and defrauding the state out of more than $100,000 in motor vehicle sales taxes.

The pair is accused of falsely claiming tax exemptions for seller-financed sales that actually were cash transactions and retaining taxes collected from customers, at least since 2017.

Casterjon, the owner/operator of A&J Auto Sales in Mount Pleasant, also allegedly directed employees to understate sales prices on title applications. Investigators determined that she was paying Salmeron $700 a month to hold sales tax permits for her that she was unable to obtain on her own.

Each suspect is charged with tampering with government records and failing to remit more than $100,000 in tax collections. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner assisted CID in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Titus County.

Nov. 1

Cesar Achon, 34, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Fort Bend County district court to motor fuel tax evasion, receiving five years’ probation of a 10-year suspended prison sentence. He also was fined $1,000 and must pay almost $200 restitution plus court costs and perform 250 hours of community service.

The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Achon admitted using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a Katy gas station in July 2018. Investigators discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed behind a false wall in the cargo area of his box truck. They also confiscated several “cloned” cards in his wallet that he had tried to discard.

As part of his punishment, Achon must apologize to station management in writing.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case.

Jorge Luis Rodriguez-Alvarez, 33, of Round Rock was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to obtain large quantities of diesel fuel at three Williamson County service stations last summer.

On Aug. 11, a CID investigator initially spotted a suspicious cargo box van in Jarrell and alerted Georgetown police. During a subsequent stop and search, the investigator confiscated 23 “cloned” cards, most of which were in a trash bin. They are believed to belong to the suspect, who was driving the van occupied by two other men. He claimed he used the diesel fuel in his car-washing business.

Reports show the van was outfitted with four, 250-gallon “tote” tanks in the cargo area linked together in the rear of the van. Two 75-gallon saddle tanks beneath the vehicle’s bed were connected to them with a hose. A power cord connected to a pump allowed for fuel transfer, according to reports.

Alvarez is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping document and fraudulent use/possession of identifying information. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Records show a motion to revoke Alvarez’s probation for felony sexual assault is pending in Travis County.

The Georgetown Police Department assisted CID in apprehending the suspects in this case, which is pending prosecution in Williamson County.

Luis Ochoa Cabrera, 58, of Seguin was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to obtain 142 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in New Braunfels in the summer of 2017.

He is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping document, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transporter’s license and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), both of which are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

On June 14, 2017, responding to a request from security personnel, local police arrested the defendant outside the store. They confiscated 25 “cloned” cards and discovered in the bed of his pickup truck an auxiliary fuel tank modified to receive, store and transport motor fuel.

CID assisted the New Braunfels Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Comal County.

In September 2017, Ochoa Cabrera pleaded guilty in a Travis County district court to motor fuel tax evasion and received five years’ deferred adjudication (no final conviction). He was fined $1,500 and ordered to pay $353 in court costs plus restitution and perform 200 hours of community service.

Cabrera admitted using re-encoded credit cards to illegally acquire approximately 59 gallons of diesel fuel from a Pflugerville convenience store in 2016.

A similar case is pending in Guadalupe County.

Abdiel A. Martinez-Viamonte, 24, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a Katy retailer last summer.

On June 19, an officer discovered a large auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of the defendant’s pickup truck modified with hoses and nozzles for storing, transporting and dispensing fuel. The suspect did not possess any permits or licenses for same, according to reports.

For failing to pay backup tax, Martinez-Viamonte is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Local authorities also have charged him with felony credit card abuse related to the fraudulent cards they confiscated.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Jose Luis Marquez, 19, of San Elizario pleaded guilty in a Pecos County district court to motor fuel tax evasion, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and five years’ probation. He also was fined $1,000 plus court costs and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service.

The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. A related felony credit card abuse case was considered for punishment purposes and dismissed in the plea agreement.

Marquez admitted to twice using an oilfield pipeline company’s fleet fuel card to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel for resale from a Fort Stockton truck stop in June 2018. An identical case against his co-defendant, Jose Manuel Martinez, 30, also of San Elizario, is pending prosecution in Pecos County.

The pair was arrested in a “sting” operation using a tractor truck and a trailer, both of which were provided by a cooperating witness. One of the defendants used the card at a pump from which he dispensed fuel into the truck, while the other kept watch nearby in a parked car. On the witness’ prearranged signal, officers first detained the suspect at the pump, then the lookout.

October 2019

Oct. 30

Rauly Michel Veranes, 30 of Houston pleaded guilty in a Brazoria County district court to motor fuel tax evasion and credit card abuse, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and five years’ probation. He also must pay court costs and perform 160 hours of community service.

Veranes admitted using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a Pearland store in January. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

A related felony charge of fraudulent possession/use of identifying information was dismissed in the plea agreement.

Local police reported witnessing the purchases and arrested the defendant on the premises, confiscating 19 “cloned” credit cards. His pickup truck had been modified to conceal an auxiliary tank and other equipment designed to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of motor fuel.

CID assisted the Pearland Police Department in the investigation of the case.

Oct. 28

Yoankys Sotolongo-Torres, 29, and Orlando Goulet-Nazario, 30 both of Houston, were arrested for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain more than 90 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Baytown.

Local police confiscated 56 “cloned” cards from the suspects, who allegedly used some of them in the four transactions reportedly observed. Investigators discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the cargo bed of their pickup truck consistent with motor fuel transportation.

Each suspect is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transport license or permit. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also are charging them with possessing more than 50 counterfeit credit cards.

CID assisted the Baytown Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Oct. 21

Fernando Longoria, 27 of Austin pleaded guilty in a Travis County court to operating amusement machines without a license or registration, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and two years’ probation. He also must perform 80 hours of community service and pay restitution to the state of $20,350.

Longoria admitted owning and operating multiple "8-liners" at two unlicensed Austin game rooms. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

In August 2018, CID investigators acting on a tip discovered 37 video slot machines without the requisite amusement tax decals in a game room in Southeast Austin. The defendant reportedly admitted owning those machines as well as others at another location on North Interstate Highway 35.

A felony drug possession charge stemming from a search during his booking into Travis County Jail was dismissed.

Oct. 18

Pedro Ismael Serrano Echevarria, 39 of Addison was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain 148 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $400 from a Gainesville convenience store last June.

Echevarria is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

On June 18, a store employee alerted police to a fuel theft in progress. The defendant allegedly was pumping diesel into an external fuel cell in the bed of his pickup truck. Officers reportedly confiscated 24 “cloned” charge cards during a search following his arrest the next day.

The vehicle has been linked to prior fuel thefts at the same location earlier that week that may have netted more than 400 gallons of diesel, according to reports.

CID assisted the Gainesville Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Cooke County.

Rosbel Larosa Acebo, 37 of Miami, Fla. was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain more than 39 gallons of diesel fuel worth $100 from a chain convenience store in Baytown.

After confronting the suspect, a store loss prevention officer contacted local police. Upon arrival, they confiscated 11 “cloned” cards from the suspect. Investigators also discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of his pickup truck.

Acebo is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also are charging him with fraudulent possession/use of identifying information.

CID assisted the Baytown Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Oct. 15

Enrique Cisneros, 43, of Houston and Yunior Paneque-Garlobo, 38 of Elizabeth, N.J. were indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Pearland last May.

A store employee reportedly witnessed the transaction and alerted local police, who stopped the suspects in their pickup truck. It was found to contain a large auxiliary tank mounted in the bed and connected to hoses, pumps and nozzles consistent with transporting and dispensing fuel.

The co-defendants are charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, and with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transport license or permit. Although the latter offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, it was upgraded to a second-degree felony as part of a criminal episode.

Local authorities also are charging the pair with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

CID assisted the Pearland Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Brazoria County.

Oct. 15

Mohammad Yasien Noorani, 51 of Tyler was indicted on charges of selling out-of-state tobacco products on which more than $1,000 in Texas taxes went unpaid and for failing to keep required records in the spring of 2018.

Noorani is accused of possessing tobacco products having more than $50 in taxes due and with books and records violations in April 2018. The offenses are third-degree felonies, each punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The owner/operator of MM Novelty in Tyler allegedly bought snuff, cigars, cigarillos, chewing tobacco and other products from vendors in Illinois and Michigan. Acting on a complaint investigators inspected his store and seized a large quantity of tobacco products.

They reported finding no valid invoices showing payment of Texas tobacco taxes to the distributors the defendant identified.

The case is pending prosecution in Smith County.

Oct. 3

Jose Alberto Nunez-Morgado, 49 of Austin, was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to unlawfully obtain 74 gallons of diesel fuel worth $200 from a Seguin merchant last August.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and fraudulent possession of identifying information, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Nunez-Morgado allegedly pumped the diesel into an auxiliary tank concealed in the bed of his pickup truck. Investigators reportedly confiscated 22 "cloned" charge cards from the defendant during his arrest.

The case is pending prosecution in Guadalupe County.

In March 2018, Nunez-Morgado received eight years’ probation, a $2,000 fine and 320 hours of community service for pleading guilty to motor fuel tax evasion and unlawful fuel transportation, both second-degree felonies, in Travis County.

July to September

September 2019

Sept. 23

Santiago Guerra Arteaga, 31, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded gift card to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a Katy service station last January.

Arteaga is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transporter's license or cargo manifest, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

After observing and arresting the defendant, investigators discovered a fuel “bladder” full of diesel fuel in the bed of the defendant's pickup truck. It had been modified with pumps and nozzles to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel. They also reportedly confiscated multiple "cloned" gift cards.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Sept. 19

Reynier Salcedo Milanes, 38, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain large quantities of diesel fuel from a Baytown convenience store last fall.

Investigators who arrested the defendant at the scene reportedly discovered the fuel concealed in an auxiliary tank hidden in the bed of his pickup truck. They accuse him of being an unlicensed motor fuel transporter.

Milanes is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a state license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Sept. 18

Xavier Murguia Sandoval, 52, of El Paso was indicted for allegedly defrauding an El Paso woman in 2018 out of $3,250 for a vehicle he sold her on which he still owed money.

For withholding that information from the buyer and taking her money, he is charged with fraudulent motor vehicle transfer and theft, both for amounts less than $30,000. Each offense is a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

Claiming to be an auto dealer, in October 2018 the defendant allegedly furnished temporary dealer tags to the buyer in exchange for a down payment and monthly installment payments. She contacted authorities when he refused to register or provide license plates for the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee he’d sold her.

Sandoval had defaulted on his auto loan, the investigation revealed, and an insurance company held a lien on the vehicle.

Department of Public Safety investigators and El Paso County constables assisted CID in serving arrest warrants in the case, which is pending prosecution in El Paso County.

Sept. 16

Carlos Miranda, 51, of Cleveland, Texas pleaded no contest in a Burleson County district court to a motor fuel shipping violation, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and two years’ probation. He also was assessed a $1,000 fine and ordered to pay more than $1,260 in restitution, plus court and other costs.

Miranda had been indicted for transporting motor fuel on a public roadway without proper shipping documents. A related charge of motor fuels tax evasion was considered in his sentencing but dismissed in the plea agreement. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Miranda admitted using re-encoded credit and debit cards to unlawfully obtain more than $560 worth diesel fuel at service stations in Caldwell in March 2017. His pickup truck had been modified with a large, after-market auxiliary fuel tank in its bed, according to reports.

Ivan Benitez Hernandez, 29, of Austin was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to acquire more than 100 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $265 from a South Austin convenience store.

The suspect’s pickup truck had been modified with a near-400-gallon, after-market auxiliary fuel tank; 20-foot hose; fuel nozzle and digital fuel meter. The vehicle reportedly had been implicated in recent fuel thefts in Comal County, according to reports.

During a traffic stop and subsequent fuel inspection and interrogation of the suspect, investigators confiscated $730 in cash and 23 “cloned” cards, some of which he allegedly tried to hide in his underwear and in the chair in which he was sitting.

Hernandez is charged with motor fuels tax evasion and transporting motor fuel on a public roadway without proper shipping documents. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Department of Public Safety (DPS) investigators also have charged him with fraudulent use/possession of identifying information, also a second-degree felony; evidence tampering and using a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; and credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

DPS assisted CID in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Jor-el Robert Blackmon, 40, of Fort Worth pleaded guilty in a Tarrant County district court to motor fuel tax evasion and unlawful use of dyed diesel fuel, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and eight years’ probation. He also was fined $500 and ordered to pay fees and court costs.

Blackmon admitted to failure to pay taxes on the untaxed diesel fuel he used and stored in containers and an auxiliary tank at his residence in November 2018, as well as to putting dyed diesel into two pickup trucks driven on public roads. Evading motor fuel tax is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Delivering dyed diesel into a motor vehicle for use on a public highway is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In Texas, non-taxable diesel is dyed red to distinguish it from taxable diesel. It is authorized almost exclusively for off-road, agricultural use by permit-holders only.

Sept. 13

Leobardo V. Rodriguez, 46, of Pecos pleaded guilty in a Reeves County district court to motor fuel tax evasion, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and six years’ probation. He also was fined $1,500 and ordered to perform 600 hours of community service, plus pay fees and court costs.

Rodriguez admitted stealing untaxed diesel fuel from an oilfield lease site in Reeves County in 2017. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

He also acknowledged committing theft in a companion case, but that charge will not be prosecuted under his plea agreement. Earlier in 2017, Rodriguez had completed deferred adjudication for delivering dyed diesel fuel for highway use, a third-degree felony.

In late March of 2017, Rodriguez 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. CID assisted with the tax law aspects of the investigation.

Sept. 11

Luis Angel Avendano, 34, of Hockley was arrested for allegedly falsifying and concealing sales tax records and withholding from the state several thousand dollars in sales tax collections.

Avendano, who ran a now-defunct diesel engine repair business in Waller, is accused of filing quarterly returns that understated taxable sales for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 tax years. He also allegedly concealed several invoices from investigators who were conducting a records inspection. Each offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The suspect also is accused of collecting from customers but not remitting to the Comptroller’s Office more than $1,500 but less than $20,000 in sales taxes for 2015 through 2018. That offense is a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

CID assisted the Waller Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Waller County.

Sept. 10

Tejon Marcet Adams, 46, of Beckville pleaded guilty in a Harrison County district court to unlawfully acquiring diesel fuel in 2018, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and five years’ probation. He also was fined $1,900 and ordered to perform 250 hours of community service, plus pay fees and court costs.

Adams admitted engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He and two co-defendants allegedly obtained thousands of gallons of diesel fuel from a distributorship where they worked in August 2018.

Adams also was charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel on a public roadway without proper shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Those charges were dismissed in the plea agreement.

The cases against his co-defendants, Larry Allen, 41, and Kenneth Harris, 52, both of Linden, are pending prosecution in Harrison County.

Rodney Yoshmitsu Kuba, 64, of Abilene pleaded guilty in a Jones County district court to a tobacco tax bookkeeping violation, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and two years’ probation. He also was fined $750 and ordered to pay $1,765 in restitution, plus court and other costs.

He admitted not keeping records for tobacco transactions dating back four years at his adult accessories and smoke shop, as of last September. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Kuba also allegedly sold shisha/hookah tobacco on which he owed almost $900 in state taxes and was accused of possessing almost 400 packages of untaxed tobacco. That charge – possession of tobacco on which more than $50 in taxes are past due (also a third-degree felony) – was dismissed in the plea agreement.

Sept. 9

Jose Arnoldo Llanso Varona, 44, of Austin, pleaded guilty in a Travis County district court to attempted evidence tampering and was sentenced to 300 days in county jail. He received 158 days’ credit for time served, which also is being applied to assessed court costs.

Varona admitted throwing 17 re-encoded credit and debit cards out the passenger window of a vehicle during a traffic stop in August 2017. The offense – attempting to tamper with physical evidence – is a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

He was under indictment for tampering with physical evidence, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He admitted to committing a lesser included offense.

Charges of motor fuels tax evasion and transporting motor fuel on a public roadway without proper documentation and/or licensing were dropped. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

To avoid paying backup motor fuels taxes, Varona and Jose Alberto Nunez-Morgado, 47, also of Austin, allegedly used a "cloned" charge card at an Austin convenience store to pump 89 gallons of diesel fuel worth $200 into an auxiliary tank concealed in the bed of their pickup truck. According to reports, CID officers observed them earlier attempting to use some of the cards to acquire fuel at a service station in Bastrop County.

In March 2018, Nunez-Morgado received eight years’ probation, a $2,000 fine and 320 hours of community service for pleading guilty to motor fuel tax evasion and unlawful fuel transportation, both second-degree felonies.

Sept. 6

Yoelvis Herrera Frometa, 31, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain a large quantity of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Houston in December 2018.

After pulling over the suspect’s cargo van, investigators discovered a 250-gallon auxiliary tank inside that is typically used to transport diesel fuel without authorization, according to reports. Investigators allege the suspect had no state-issued licenses or permits to transport fuel.

Frometa is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Raul Silva Perez, 47, of San Antonio pleaded no contest to a motor fuel shipping violation, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and two years’ probation. He also was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service and pay court costs.

Perez admitted transporting diesel fuel on a public roadway without proper documentation, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

He also had been charged with motor fuel tax evasion, also a second-degree felony; engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transporter's license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; and with felony credit card abuse. All three of the charges were considered at sentencing but dismissed in the plea agreement.

Perez and a co-defendant, Raunel Pinero-Dieguez, 45, also of San Antonio, allegedly used a re-encoded fleet credit card to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a San Antonio gas company's unmanned card lock location in June 2018.

The case against Pinero-Dieguez is pending prosecution in Bexar County.

Sept. 6

Yexis A. Benavides Estrada, 25, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to unlawfully obtain more than 100 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $300 from a Katy convenience store last fall.

Estrada is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also have charged him with felony credit card abuse; officers reportedly confiscated 23 cards during the arrest.

A Katy police detective caught the suspect after he allegedly made three transactions using a "cloned" discount store gift card containing superimposed credit card information. The fuel was pumped into the large auxiliary tank of a flat-bed truck modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, according to reports.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Sept. 1

Dakota Dixon, 27, of New Home pleaded guilty to motor fuel tax evasion, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and eight years’ probation. He also was fined $2,500, ordered to pay more than $200 in restitution, plus court and other costs, and required to perform 600 hours of community service.

He could have been imprisoned for two to 20 years and fined up to $10,000 for the second-degree felony offense.

Dixon admitted operating on a public roadway a pickup truck unlawfully containing approximately 67 gallons of non-taxable dyed diesel fuel in its supply and auxiliary tanks in December 2017. He failed to pay the required backup tax.

Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red in Texas and authorized almost exclusively for off-road, agricultural use by permit-holders.

Mohammad Tahir Khan, 60, of Waco was indicted for allegedly buying almost $20,000 worth of tobacco from an out-of-state distributor in the fall of 2017 without paying several thousand dollars in Texas tobacco taxes.

Khan is charged with two counts of possessing tobacco products on which state taxes are due and payable, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

An official with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Criminal Tax Investigations alerted CID to the illicit purchases allegedly made by the defendant. The products were shipped for resale to his retail business, the Bellmead Tobacco Store, in October and November, 2017, according to reports.

The case is pending prosecution in McLennan County.

Gabriel Aleman Palmero, 31, of Channelview pleaded guilty in a Fort Bend County district court to motor fuel tax evasion and unlawfully using a criminal instrument, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and seven years’ probation. He also was fined $1,000, required to perform 200 hours of community service and ordered to pay fees, court costs and restitution.

Palmero was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Katy in last December.

He admitted to failure to pay the required backup tax, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000, along with use of a criminal instrument (his pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

A third charge of engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license or cargo manifest, a third-degree felony, was dismissed in the plea agreement.

Investigators determined that Palmero pumped almost 54 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $140 into an auxiliary "bladder" hidden in the truck bed. A subsequent search revealed that the vehicle had been modified with pumps and nozzles to receive and dispense large quantities of motor fuel. Multiple “cloned” gift cards were confiscated as well.


August 2019

Aug. 29

Pedro Leonard Fernandez-Bello, 24, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Katy in June.

A store employee observed the suspect using “cloned” cards at one of the pumps and notified Katy police, who arrested him during a subsequent traffic stop. A search revealed a modified storage tank mounted in the bed of the suspect’s pickup truck, reports show.

Fernandez-Bello was indicted July 29 for motor fuel tax evasion and purchasing motor fuel with intent to evade tax. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Local authorities also have charged Fernandez-Bello with felony credit/debit card abuse.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Aug. 15

Joel Issac Sotelo, 33, of Odessa was arrested for allegedly having 75 gallons of untaxed dyed diesel fuel in the supply tanks of his semi-tractor trailer rig.

The unlawfully used fuel was discovered during a traffic stop in Midland by a state trooper, who cited Sotelo for several alleged commercial operator violations. The suspect, who owns Optimus Trucking Co., reportedly admitted using dyed diesel in three of his trucks.

In Texas, non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red to distinguish it from taxable diesel. Red-dyed diesel is authorized almost exclusively for off-road, agricultural use only by permit-holders.

Sotelo is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

CID assisted the Department of Public Safety and the Midland County District Attorney’s Office in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Midland County.

Aug. 14

Quang Buu Merideth, 53, of Grand Prairie pleaded guilty in Wood County court to an amusement machine violation, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and 12 months’ probation. He was assessed an $800 fine plus court costs and ordered to perform 80 hours of community service.

Merideth admitted having 20 “eight-liner”-type video games without tax decals in his Big Room game room in Mineola in 2017. A CID investigator discovered them during an inspection of the premises.

Merideth was charged with operating coin-operated amusement machines without a valid state license or certificate. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

Aug. 13

Aliam Lazaro de Armas Correa, 30, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Waller County district court to a motor fuel transportation violation and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and four years’ probation. He was assessed a $1,000 fine plus court costs and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service.

De Armas Correa admitted transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping document, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Other related cases dismissed in the plea agreement were motor fuel tax evasion, also a second-degree felony, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck he was driving), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The defendant was arrested in late January for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to unlawfully obtain $100 worth of diesel fuel from a Hempstead grocery store.

He was observed pumping diesel directly into an auxiliary “bladder” hidden in the bed of his pickup truck. The vehicle had been modified with hoses, nozzles and pumps to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel. Officers confiscated several “cloned” gift cards.

Local authorities also had charged De Armas Correa with felony credit/debit card abuse and fraudulent use/possession of identifying information; both charges subsequently were dropped prior to indictment.

Aug. 11

Jose Luis Rodriguez Alvarez, 33, of Round Rock was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to obtain large quantities of diesel fuel at three Williamson County service stations.

A CID investigator initially spotted a suspicious cargo box van in Jarrell and alerted Georgetown police. During a subsequent stop and search, a CID investigator confiscated 23 “cloned” cards, most of which were in a trash bin, from the suspect, who was driving the van occupied by two other men. He claimed he used the diesel fuel in his car washing business.

Reports show the van was outfitted with four 250-gallon “tote” tanks in the cargo area linked together in the rear of the van. Two 75-gallon saddle tanks beneath the vehicle’s bed were connected to them with a hose. A power cord connected to a pump allowed for fuel transfer, according to reports.

Alvarez is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping document and fraudulent use/possession of identifying information. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Records show a motion to revoke Alvarez’s probation for felony sexual assault is pending in Travis County.

The Georgetown Police Department assisted CID in apprehending the suspects in this case, which is pending prosecution in Williamson County.

Aug. 9

Khaldoun Hindi, 40, of Arlington was arrested for allegedly possessing unstamped cigarettes for sale at his Dallas convenience store.

During a retail tax inspection, an investigator discovered two unstamped cigarette packs, both less than full, near the cash register. Stamps are affixed to packs when tobacco taxes are paid.

The subsequent confiscation of 23 individual cigarettes was based on a tip that the Chevron Food Mart was selling tobacco, among other things, to minors, including single cigarettes.

Hindi, the store owner/operator, is charged with possession of less 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 case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Yasmany Rodriguez Herrera, 31, of Dumas was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to obtain large quantities of diesel fuel from two Big Spring convenience stores.

A clerk notified local authorities that fraudulent fueling was under way. Upon arrival, police discovered the suspect pumping diesel fuel into an auxiliary tank located in the bed of his pickup truck. The officer confiscated several “cloned” credit cards, reports show.

Investigators determined that the suspect also obtained $100 worth of diesel fuel at another store on July 31. The card allegedly used belongs to an FBI agent, according to reports.

Herrera is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and fraudulent use/possession of identifying information. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

He also is charged with credit/debit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

CID assisted the Big Spring Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Howard County.

Aug. 7

Crystal Dawn Johnson, 46, a Weatherford auto dealer, was indicted for allegedly filing phony title documents and pocketing more than $2,000 in sales taxes collected from vehicle buyers in 2018.

She is charged with multiple counts of failure to remit tax collected and with tampering with a governmental record. Each offense is a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

The suspect is accused of altering the sales prices on 20 vehicle title applications submitted between March and December 2018 and withholding more than $2,000 in motor vehicle sales tax collected on the transactions.

CID assisted the Hood County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Hood County.

Aug. 6

Khalil Ryaad Shaker, 26, of Arlington was arrested for allegedly operating unlicensed amusement machines at his Fort Worth game room.

During a tax compliance inspection in July, investigators discovered two machines not having requisite state decals. Subsequent investigation revealed that no license or certificate had been issued for the game room, Jordan’s Warehouse.

Consequently, Shaker is charged with operating amusement machines without a license or registration, 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.

Aug. 5

Rahim Karim Noorani, 41, of Carrollton was arrested for allegedly possessing unstamped cigarettes for sale at his Fort Worth convenience store.

During a retail tax inspection, investigators acting on a tip from city code enforcement officials discovered three unstamped cigarette packs, all less than full, near the cash register. Stamps are affixed to packs when tobacco taxes are paid.

The subsequent confiscation of 60 cigarettes was based on information that the Ocean 7 Food Mart was selling individual cigarettes at the direction of the store manager.

Noorani, the store owner/operator, is charged with possession of less 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 case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Aug. 1

Diamantina Solis Gonzales, 54, and Samantha Renee Gonzales, 31, both of Muleshoe were indicted for allegedly offering for sale large quantities of tobacco products on which no taxes had been paid.

During a tax compliance inspection in May, investigators discovered scores of packages of wraps, pipe and hookah tobacco at the Bad Habitz shop in Muleshoe. Further investigation revealed that state tobacco taxes had not been paid on the tobacco products in the retailers’ possession.

Each of the defendants is charged with possession of tobacco products on which more than $50 in taxes are due and unpaid. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Bailey County.

Dairon Yoan Morales-Nunez, 24, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel on two occasions in May from a supermarket pump station in Richmond.

Investigators with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) reportedly observed the defendant making multiple transactions and pumping the fuel into a pickup truck. Upon apprehension at the scene, they discovered that the vehicle was outfitted with a concealed auxiliary tank designed to receive, transport and dispense fuel, reports show.

The four-count indictment charges Morales-Nunez with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, and with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted DPS in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Dariel Martinez-Hernandez, 32, of Brandon, Fla. was indicted for allegedly making an unlicensed fuel transaction when using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain 174 gallons of diesel fuel from a Katy supermarket pumping station in June.

Engaging in a motor fuel transaction without holding the required license is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The defendant previously was indicted in June for motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, for failing to pay backup tax. Local authorities also charged him with felony credit card abuse.

The charges stem from his allegedly using one of 14 “cloned” credit cards to activate a pump to put diesel fuel into his pickup truck. Upon arresting him at the scene, Katy police discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the truck bed and linked to the primary tank.

A subsequent inspection by CID revealed that the metal canister contained 261 gallons of diesel. The truck also had been modified with hoses and nozzles to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel, according to reports.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Lazaro Suarez, 27, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court to a motor fuel tax violation and received four years’ probation, a $500 fine and 200 hours of community service.

Suarez admitted to engaging in a motor fuel transaction as an unlicensed transporter because he had no permit to do so. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

He used re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain motor fuel from a Houston convenience store in January 2018. His pickup truck contained an auxiliary storage tank concealed in the bed. It had been modified with pumps and nozzles to transport fuel, evidence showed.

CID assisted the Houston Police Department in the investigation of the case.

Jaime A. Castillo-Miranda, 30, of Galena Park was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain large quantities of diesel fuel from a Baytown gas station in May.

He is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Local authorities also are charging him with fraudulent use/possession of identifying information (i.e., fewer than five “cloned” cards), a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

After the suspect was observed making the alleged transactions, Baytown police subsequently arrested him at a chain convenience store.

CID assisted the Baytown Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.


July 2019

July 30

Jose Luis Bell-Morales, 28, of Homestead, Fla. pleaded guilty in a Caldwell County district court to motor fuel tax evasion and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and six years’ probation. He was assessed a $1,000 fine plus court costs and ordered to pay $638 in restitution and perform 140 hours of community service.

The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Bell-Morales admitted using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 102 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $265 from a Luling truck stop in January 2018.

July 25

Rosie Stevenson, 74, of Houston and Terry Sozanski, 56, Juliana M. Tychowskyj, 64, and Donald Dankowich, 66, all of Sugar Land were arrested after being indicted for allegedly stealing more than $17,000 from the Comptroller’s Unclaimed Property program in 2015.

All of the defendants were taken into custody in late June or July in Harris County except Sozanski, who was apprehended in North Dakota and extradited to Texas in early August.

Stevenson and Sozanski are accused of posing as agents for a pipeline company that had a claim on file. The foursome also is accused of trying to defraud the program out of more than $600,000 by posing as agents for two other Texas corporations with claims pending.

The businesses ranged from oil and gas exploration to a wrecker service and a florist.

Each defendant is charged with attempted theft of $300,000 or more, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. They also are charged with theft of property worth between $2,500 and $30,000 and with attempted theft of between $30,000 and $150,000. Each offense is a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

In addition, Sozanski is charged with forgery, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, for allegedly falsifying a claim letter purportedly from a Missouri City attorney in 2016. Sozanski also is charged with three counts of tampering with a government document, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000, for submitting false franchise tax reports.

Sugar Land police assisted CID in making two of the arrests. The cases are pending prosecution in Travis County.

July 18

Luis Angel Moreno Lopez, 50, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain more than 95 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $250 from a chain convenience store in Pearland in March.

The defendant was part of a foursome driving a pickup truck and a box truck. Both vehicles had been modified with hoses, nozzles, electric pumps and auxiliary tanks mounted in the beds to receive, transport and dispense fuel, according to reports. The suspects reportedly were passing charge cards to each other between the two vehicles.

Store employees observed the illegal transactions and alerted Pearland police. They claim that the suspects attempted to conceal and dispose of their wallets and 49 “cloned” cards recovered when police arrived.

Moreno Lopez is charged with engaging in a fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also have charged him with unlawful use of a criminal instrument and fraudulently using identification.

CID assisted the Pearland Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Brazoria County.

July 10

Arnaldo Yuriel Armas-Garcia, 35, of Fountain, Colo. and Yusniel Gonzalez-Rodriguez, 36, of Lexington, Neb. were arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Katy in May.

A store employee reportedly observed the defendants using “cloned” credit cards to obtain diesel fuel and contacted Katy police.

After stopping their pickup truck, officers discovered a modified tank mounted in the truck bed. The vehicle had been further modified with hoses and nozzles to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel, according to reports.

For failing to pay the required backup tax, Armas-Garcia and Gonzalez-Rodriguez were both indicted in June for motor fuel tax evasion, as well as purchasing motor fuel intending to evade tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. They also are charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In addition, local authorities are charging both defendants with felony credit card abuse.

The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office assisted CID in arresting Armas-Garcia upon indictment. Gonzalez-Rodriguez was arrested in Nebraska and extradited to face charges in Texas.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

William Froelim Euceda, 46, of Harlingen was indicted for allegedly offering for sale at three convenience stores tobacco products on which he owed several hundred dollars in state taxes last October.

Euceda is charged with possessing tobacco products having more than $50 in taxes due. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

During an inspection, investigators reportedly found tobacco wrapping papers ordered on line from an out-of-state wholesale distributor that does not have a Texas tobacco tax permit. An analysis of records determined that other tobacco products also had been purchased through the internet without paying Texas taxes.

The case is pending prosecution in Cameron County.

Raunel Pinero-Dieguez, 45, of San Antonio pleaded no contest in a Bexar County district court to unlawful fuel transportation, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and three years’ probation. He also was fined $1,450 and ordered to pay court costs.

Pinero-Dieguez admitted transporting diesel fuel without proper documentation, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Dismissed in the plea agreement were three other related charges: motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transporter's license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; and felony credit card abuse.

Pinero-Dieguez and a co-defendant allegedly used a re-encoded fleet credit card to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a San Antonio gas company's unmanned card lock location in June 2018.

July 9

Mamoon Ahmad Allan, 33, of Pflugerville was arrested for allegedly possessing untaxed tobacco.

In January, investigators conducted a compliance inspection at Allan’s place of business, Smoke Shop Boulevard, in Austin. They reportedly discovered and seized numerous individual tobacco products for which no invoices could be produced, including wraps, cigars, cigar cones and hookah tobacco.

Allan was indicted in June for possession of tobacco products on which $50 or more in taxes are due, as well as failure to maintain books and records of tobacco transactions. Both offenses are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

July 8

Dariel Martinez-Hernandez, 32, of Katy was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain 174 gallons of diesel fuel from a pumping station at a Katy supermarket in June.

The suspect reportedly was observed using one of 14 “cloned” credit cards to activate a pump to put diesel fuel into his pickup truck. Upon arresting him at the scene, Katy police discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the truck bed and linked to the primary tank.

A subsequent inspection by CID revealed that the metal canister contained 261 gallons of diesel. The truck also had been modified with hoses and nozzles to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel, according to reports.

For failing to pay the required backup tax, Martinez-Hernandez was indicted in June for motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also are charging him with felony credit card abuse.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

July 1

Jor-el Robert Blackmon, 40, of Fort Worth was indicted for allegedly using red dyed diesel fuel in two pickup trucks and storing it in containers and an auxiliary tank at his residence in late November.

Blackmon is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, and with delivering dyed diesel fuel into a motor vehicle for use on a public roadway, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The defendant is believed to have taken the fuel from a South Texas well drilling site operated by his employer. In Texas, to distinguish it from taxed diesel, non-taxable diesel is dyed red. It is authorized almost exclusively for off-road, agricultural use by permit-holders only.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Fredricke Deon Espy Jr., 27, of Amarillo pleaded guilty in a Potter County court at law to three tobacco permit violations and was sentenced to 18 days in jail and fines totaling $1,500. He was credited with two days’ time served and also ordered to pay court costs.

Espy admitted to selling cigarettes and receiving and possessing 48 cigarette products as a retailer, all without a valid state permit. Each offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

CID investigators seized the unlawful merchandise at Sir’s Smoke Shop in Amarillo, which Espy operates, during a compliance inspection last December.


April to June

June 2019

June 25

Richard Harold Maliden, 48, of Bay St. Louis, Miss. was arrested in Pecos for allegedly hauling 110 gallons of untaxed dyed diesel fuel in a modified pickup truck without proper authorization.

During an inspection of the suspect’s truck, investigators reported discovering dyed diesel – in two 55-gallon drums, six 5-gallon cans and several “totes” in the truck bed, as well as the internal tank. The vehicle had been modified with a small battery, pump, nozzle and hose to dispense fuel, according to reports.

In Texas, untaxed diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized for purchase only by permit-holders almost exclusively for off-road use, mostly in agricultural equipment.

Maliden is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Reeves County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Reeves County.

June 21

Livan Miranda Garcia, 49, of Cypress pleaded guilty in a Waller County district court to unlawful motor fuel transportation and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction), two years’ probation, a $1,500 fine and 50 hours of community service, plus court costs and other related fees.

He admitted transporting motor fuel without shipping documents. A related motor fuel tax evasion charge was dismissed in the plea agreement. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Garcia was arrested last September for using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain large quantities of diesel fuel from a Waller truck stop. Local authorities alerted by loss prevention staff caught him under surveillance pumping diesel fuel into a cargo-style delivery truck containing two 250-gallon, plastic fuel "totes."

June 19

Pedro Ismael Serrano Echevarria, 39, of Addison was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain 148 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $400 from a Gainesville convenience store on June 18.

The suspect allegedly was pumping diesel fuel into an external fuel cell in the bed of his pickup truck. Officers reportedly confiscated 24 charge cards during a search following his arrest.

A store employee alerted police to a theft in progress. The vehicle has been linked to prior fuel thefts earlier that week at the same location, according to reports.

Echevarria is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Gainesville Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Cooke County.

June 17

Dennis Jorge Jimenez-Gallardo, 24, of Katy and Raul Milanes-Lahera, 45, of San Antonio were indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel on April 30 from a chain convenience store in Katy.

For failing to pay the required backup tax, the defendants are charged with motor fuel tax evasion, as well as purchasing motor fuel intending to evade tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. They also are charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Local authorities also have charged both defendants with felony credit/debit card abuse.

After stopping the defendants’ pickup truck, officers discovered an auxiliary “bladder” tank welded onto the truck bed into which fuel was pumped directly. The truck had been further modified with hoses and nozzles to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel, according to reports.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the cases, which are pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

June 12

Rishi Sikka, 39, of Killeen was indicted for untaxed tobacco possession last fall.

In October, investigators conducted a compliance inspection and discovered at the defendant’s Killeen store almost 500 individual tobacco products, including loose-leaf and hookah tobacco, on which more than $1,500 in taxes were owed. The defendant allegedly purchased the products from an Illinois distributor not licensed to sell in Texas, according to reports.

Sikka is charged with possession of tobacco products on which $50 or more in taxes are due, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Bell County.

Mohammad Khan, 68, of Temple was indicted for untaxed tobacco possession last fall.

In October, investigators discovered at the defendant’s Killeen store 48 individual tobacco products, including loose-leaf and hookah tobacco, on which more than $650 in taxes were owed. The defendant allegedly purchased the products from an Illinois distributor not licensed to sell in Texas, according to reports.

Khan is charged with possession of tobacco products on which $50 or more in taxes are due, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Bell County.

June 11

Juan Manuel Villarreal, 58, and Jesus Villarreal Reyes, 30, both of Rio Grande City, were arrested for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to fraudulently obtain between them a total of more than 300 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $900 from a chain discount store gas station in Rio Grande City.

Villarreal is accused of using four of 12 “cloned” cards confiscated by a state trooper during a subsequent traffic stop to acquire 151 gallons worth $400. Reyes allegedly made five transactions using four cloned cards to acquire 168 gallons worth $446.

Both suspects pumped the diesel into large, L-shaped auxiliary tanks hidden in the beds of their pickup trucks, as well as 10 five-gallon containers, according to reports. The vehicles were outfitted with hoses, nozzles and pumps consistent with storing, transporting and dispensing motor fuel.

For failing to pay the required backup taxes, the defendants each are charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The Department of Public Safety assisted CID by apprehending the suspects in the case, which is pending prosecution in Starr County.

Justin Michael Strait, 31, of Galveston was indicted for failing to allow inspection of his business records for tobacco tax purposes in April.

He also is accused of selling tobacco without a permit and not paying tobacco taxes.

The defendant allegedly ignored verbal and written demands last spring from investigators who inspected his bar, Brew’s Brothers in Galveston. They seized tobacco products displayed for sale there because its state permit had expired.

Strait is charged with failure to produce records of tobacco sales for inspection, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with failure to possess a valid tobacco permit and non-payment of tobacco tax, both Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Galveston County.

June 7

Miguel Daniel Camejo-Suarez, 24, of Katy was indicted for allegedly driving a vehicle containing unlawfully acquired fuel on a public roadway in Brookshire.

Camejo-Suarez is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or proper shipping documents. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Investigators discovered an auxiliary tank “bladder” containing diesel fuel that was concealed in the bed of the defendant’s pickup truck. Reports show that the vehicle had been outfitted with hoses, pumps and nozzles to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

He allegedly used re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain almost 112 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $330 from a truck stop in late February. Officers reported confiscating multiple “cloned” cards upon his arrest.

The case is pending prosecution in Waller County.

Aliam Lazar de Armas Correa, 30, of Houston was indicted for allegedly driving a vehicle containing unlawfully acquired fuel on a public roadway in Hempstead.

He is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or proper shipping documents. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

A deputy sheriff observed the defendant pumping diesel directly into an auxiliary “bladder” hidden in the bed of his pickup truck. A search revealed that the vehicle had been modified with hoses, nozzles and pumps to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of motor fuel.

He allegedly used a re-encoded charge card to fraudulently obtain $100 worth of diesel fuel from a grocery store in late January. Officers reported confiscating multiple “cloned” cards upon his arrest.

The case is pending prosecution in Waller County.

June 6

Ibrahim Ghali, 32, of Grand Prairie was arrested for allegedly offering unstamped cigarettes for sale at his Fort Worth convenience store last spring.

During an inspection in mid-March, CID investigators reported finding 80 individual cigarettes in packs – some open – not bearing state tobacco stamps. One shelf of tobacco products was labeled “Turkey duty free sale only,” according to reports.

Ghali, the store’s owner/operator, is charged with possessing less than 10,000 unstamped cigarettes. The offense 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.

Mirza Zubair Baig, 54, of Sherman was arrested for untaxed tobacco possession and for the lack of invoicing on tobacco displayed for sale at two Bonham convenience stores.

Investigators seized 139 bags of loose tobacco worth more than $3,000 during inspections at Lucky Food Center and Happy Kampers last March. The suspect, who owns and operates both businesses, did not produce any invoices showing taxes had been paid on the tobacco.

Baig is charged with two counts of possessing tobacco on which more than $50 in tax are due and with two counts of failure to maintain books and records of tobacco transactions. Both offenses are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The cases are pending prosecution in Fannin County.

June 4

Kory Brown Didear, 19, of Boling was indicted for allegedly faking purchases to cover almost $2,000 in thefts while working as a chain convenience store cashier in Wharton last fall.

The defendant, a former store employee, reportedly was recorded by a surveillance camera falsifying sales transaction records to keep cash registers balanced during a series of thefts in November and December 2018.

Didear is charged with making false entries into tax records, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also have charged him with Class A misdemeanor theft of property.

The cases are pending prosecution in Wharton County.

June 4

Yudeyvis Rodriguez-Galban, 41, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court to credit card abuse in a fuel theft case and was sentenced to a year in county jail.

He was convicted of a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000, and credited with 102 days’ jail time served. Dismissed in the plea agreement was a related charge of engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Rodriguez-Galban used a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel at a Katy service station last fall. Officers found 35 "cloned" credit cards in his possession but no transport permits or cargo manifests.

He was caught pumping diesel into the modified fuel port of a box truck. The fuel tank also had been modified to pull fuel into a plastic “tote” tank located beneath the vehicle's enclosed rear cargo area.

June 1

Ramon Diaz Oduardo, 54, of Opa-Locka, Fla., pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court to an unlawful motor fuel transaction and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, probated for four years, plus court costs and related fees.

He was convicted of engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Authorities dismissed a related felony credit card abuse case in the plea agreement.

Oduardo used re-encoded credit cards to fraudulently obtain diesel fuel from a Houston gas station in late June 2018. Upon arrest, officers found 22 "cloned" charge cards in his possession. An auxiliary tank welded beneath the bed of his pickup truck had been modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

Osvaldo Efren Dominguez-Torrez, 29, of Georgetown pleaded guilty in a Williamson County district court to credit card abuse and was sentenced to 16 days in jail. He was credited with eight days served and ordered to pay court costs.

The offense was downgraded from a felony punishable for six months up to two years in a state jail, and a fine of up to $10,000, to a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both. Two other charges were dismissed in the plea agreement.

The defendant had been under indictment for motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In February 2018, Dominguez-Torrez was arrested for using one of three re-encoded gift cards to unlawfully acquire diesel fuel at a Liberty Hill convenience store.


May 2019

May 31

Jose Gamboa Infante, 29, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Travis County district court to two fuel tax law violations and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction), five years’ probation and 100 hours of community service. He also was ordered to pay court costs and related fees.

Infante admitted to motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without proper documentation in 2017. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.“bladder” welded onto the truck bed into which fuel was pumped directly. The truck had been further modified with hoses and nozzles to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel, according to reports.

Infante and a co-defendant were arrested on June 28, 2017 in Austin with 93 gallons of diesel fuel in the auxiliary tank of a pickup truck and four containers in the truck bed. They used “cloned” charge cards to obtain the fuel unlawfully.

May 30

Ali Ayad Sattar, 30, a Fort Worth auto dealer, was arrested for allegedly listing out-of-state addresses on title applications to avoid sales tax on three vehicles he sold earlier this year at BAN Auto Sales.

Investigators acting on a tip reported discovering three applications on which the suspect allegedly entered phony purchaser addresses in Louisiana, New Mexico and Michigan. The car buyers, all Texas residents, either had never lived there or no longer did so.

Sattar is charged with three counts each of vehicle registration forgery, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, and of tampering with a governmental record with intent to defraud, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

May 28

Lamond Trotter, 46, of Ogden, Ark. was arrested for allegedly offering tobacco products for sale without a permit in April at his shop near Texarkana.

The charge arose from a “sting” in which an employee of Mon’s E-cigs & Tobacco in Wake Village reportedly sold liquid nicotine to an undercover minor. During the operation, an investigator reported seeing cigars, cigarillos and other tobacco products on display. The suspect could not produce a permit for them, reportedly claiming he had not renewed the previous permit.

Trotter is charged with offering tobacco products for sale without a valid permit. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

The Texarkana Police Department assisted CID with arresting and transporting the suspect to the county jail. The case is pending prosecution in Bowie County.

Steven Ronnie Bell, 75, of McKinney was arrested for allegedly operating gaming machines without a valid permit last December at his game room near McKinney.

Acting on a complaint, investigators inspected Winners Sweepstakes at a shopping center in Princeton. They reportedly found 11 coin-operated machines with currency readers that were not licensed or registered.

Bell is charged with possessing coin-operated amusement machines without a proper license or registration certificate. The offense 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 Collin County.

May 23

Cody Raymond-Michael Johnson, 29, of Caddo Mills pleaded guilty in a Rockwall County district court to vehicle title forgery and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction), 30 months’ probation and 240 hours of community service. He also was fined $1,500 and ordered to pay court costs and related fees.

Johnson admitted to falsifying vehicle title applications, a third-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

In September 2016, the owner of Big City Auto Sales lied on vehicle title applications by understating the purchase prices. He entered incorrect information on applications for two of eight vehicles purchased from his dealership by a communications company.

May 21

Guillermo Enamorado, 49, and Alain Garcia-Cabrales, 28, both of Houston, were arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain large quantities of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Pearland.

The store manager noticed a suspicious transaction at a pump involving a vehicle that had been there earlier. She notified Pearland police who arrested the suspects at and near the scene. They reportedly obtained almost 160 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $400.

Officers discovered 100-gallon steel auxiliary tanks in the compartment of a box van driven by one of the suspects and in the bed of a pickup truck driven by the other suspect. Both vehicles had been modified with pumps and hoses to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, according to reports, and bore temporary tags.

Officers confiscated 20 charge cards including a Disney Mickey Mouse gift card.

For failing to pay the backup tax, the pair each are charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. They also are charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Pearland Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Brazoria County.

May 16

Jose Guadalupe Rodriguez, 41, of Bryan was arrested for allegedly using another person’s Social Security number (SSN) to unlawfully obtain a state sales and use tax permit to open a business in College Station in 2013.

Rodriguez is charged with fraudulent use of identifying information, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

The rightful SSN holder reportedly discovered the misuse when he applied for a tax permit in November 2018. Upon learning that his SSN already was associated with a company no longer in business, the victim contacted CID investigators. He told them that he believed the suspect was the same person he had reported to police years earlier for a similar offense.

The Bryan Police Department assisted CID with transporting the suspect to jail. The case is pending prosecution in Brazos County.

May 15

Jaime A. Castillo-Miranda, 30, of Galena Park was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain large quantities of diesel fuel from a Baytown gas station.

Baytown police subsequently arrested the suspect at a chain convenience store.

Castillo-Miranda is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also are charging him with fraudulent use/possession of identifying information (i.e., fewer than five “cloned” cards), a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

CID assisted the Baytown Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

May 10

Mohammad Salman, 55, of Highland Village was arrested for allegedly possessing tobacco on which more than $50 in state taxes were due and failing to keep proper purchase records.

He is charged with two possession violations and one books and records violation. Each offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

A routine inspection of the suspect’s Southlake tobacco shop in January revealed several containers and bags of loose tobacco that were not accurately invoiced. The suspect claimed to have bought the tobacco from a Dallas supplier, but investigators reported finding no evidence of same or any indication that tobacco taxes had been paid.

Invoices for tobacco and smoking pod purchases in August and November 2018 totaling almost $8,000 indicated that almost $300 in taxes had gone unpaid.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

May 6

Mohammed Talha Padela, 36, of Sugar Land pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court to tobacco tax evasion and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and two years’ probation. He also was ordered to pay court costs and other related fees.

Padela was found to be in possession of hundreds of packages of tobacco products on which more than $12,000 in taxes were owing. Possessing tobacco products on which more than $50 in taxes are due is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In June 2018, Padela tried to sell a large quantity of tobacco products to a Houston distributor who alerted the Comptroller's office. CID conducted surveillance and discovered the tobacco products in the defendant's vehicle during a subsequent traffic stop.

May 3

Crystal Johnson, 46, a Weatherford auto dealer, was arrested for allegedly filing phony title documents and pocketing more than $2,100 in sales taxes collected from vehicle buyers in 2018.

She is charged with failure to remit tax collected and with tampering with a governmental record. Each offense is a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

The suspect is accused of altering the sales prices on 20 vehicle title applications submitted between March and December 2018 and withholding the motor vehicle sales tax collected on each transaction.

CID assisted the Hood County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Hood County.

May 1

Marcos Enrique Urdaneta, 54, a Fort Worth auto dealer, pleaded guilty in a Tarrant County district court to car title fraud and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and five years’ probation. He also was fined $500 and ordered to pay plus court costs and related fees.

He admitted to three charges of providing false information, each a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Urdaneta submitted fraudulent vehicle title applications that understated the sales prices of three vehicles he sold in 2016 and 2017. He collected motor vehicle sales taxes from the buyers, then changed tax reports to reflect the false prices – thereby lowering the taxes owed – and pocketed the difference.

Tejon Adams, 45, of Beckville and Larry Allen, 41, and Kenneth Harris, 52, both of Linden, were arrested for allegedly transporting motor fuel unlawfully last August without a license and without paying state taxes.

Allen was arrested by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office. A few days earlier, sheriff’s deputies arrested Harris, and state troopers arrested Adams during a traffic stop in Montgomery County.

The trio is accused of unlawfully acquiring and delivering thousands of gallons of diesel fuel from a distributorship for whom they worked.

Each defendant is under indictment for motor fuel tax evasion and for transporting motor fuel without proper shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. They also are charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The cases are pending prosecution in Harrison County.


April 2019

April 30

Dennis Jorge Jimenez-Gallardo, 24, of Katy and Raul Milanes-Lahera, 45, of San Antonio were arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a Katy convenience store.

A search revealed that the vehicle contained an auxiliary tank “bladder” welded onto the truck bed into which fuel was pumped directly. The truck had been further modified with hoses and nozzles to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel, according to reports.

For failing to pay the required backup tax, the suspects are charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. They also are charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Local authorities also are charging both suspects with felony credit/debit card abuse.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

April 27

Judy Kannady, 72, of Tomball was arrested for allegedly selling 69 packs of unstamped Russian cigarettes for $130 to an undercover officer.

She was arrested outside a Tomball drug store during a “buy-bust sting” operation conducted by CID investigators. They exchanged cash for the cigarettes, which were inside a brown paper bag.

An investigator posing as a customer had pre-arranged the purchase in response to a post on an online advertising website. The suspect previously had been warned by telephone to remove the ad, which she repeatedly claimed to have done, according to reports.

Kannady explained that she bought the cigarettes online for her son because they contain low levels of tar and nicotine. She claimed she was selling them because she wanted him to quit smoking.

The suspect is charged with selling unstamped cigarettes and selling cigarettes without a permit. Each offense 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 Harris County.

April 26

Miguel Pulido, 45, of Katy was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain almost 500 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $1,200 from several Katy service stations.

Local police reportedly witnessed multiple purchases being made by the driver of a box truck at four locations before a constable conducted a traffic stop. The officer confiscated 75 “cloned” credit cards and discovered two, 250-gallon “tote tanks” concealed in the cargo area and filled almost to capacity. The vehicle also had been modified with hoses, pumps and nozzles designed to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, according to reports.

Pulido is charged with possessing more than 50 items of identifying information (i.e., the fraudulent cards), a first-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for five to 99 years or life and a fine of up to $10,000. He also is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

April 25

Donavin Heard, 56, of Long Beach, Calif. was indicted for allegedly trying to defraud the state out of almost $850,000 belonging to a company no longer doing business in Texas.

He is charged with using deception to secure a document affecting property and with attempted theft of property, both worth more than $300,000. The former offense is a first-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for five to 99 years or life and a fine of up to $10,000. The latter is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The defendant reportedly reactivated a suspended corporation and allegedly submitted forged documents to the Comptroller's office authorizing and notarizing transfer of ownership to himself of all the company’s equity and shares held in trust by the Unclaimed Property Division (UPD). CID investigators determined that a corporate director and a notary public had not signed the documents.

The defendant’s attempt to pay fees failed due to insufficient funds, and he requested transfer in person of company funds that had been on deposit before reverting to UPD. Consequently, Comptroller's staff generated a check and arranged pick-up at the Rusk Building in downtown Austin. Upon signing a receipt, Heard was arrested by CID investigators posing as treasury officials and troopers of the Department of Public Safety.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Fnu Ahmed-Dhanani, 37, of Euless was arrested for allegedly falsifying a renewal application for an amusement machine license.

The suspect reportedly submitted an application with two incorrect addresses for his places of business and recordkeeping; one was a convenience store, the other a barber shop under construction, both in a strip mall in southwest Fort Worth. He also allegedly used a variation of his name, but not his full legal name, on the application.

Amusement machine operators in Texas must either be licensed to operate machines statewide or certified to do so at specific locations.

Ahmed-Dhanani is charged with attempting to obtain a license by fraud, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000; and with tampering with a governmental record, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

April 23

Shateka Modries Johnson Nixon, 30, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court to forgery and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and three years’ probation. She also was ordered to pay $500 in restitution plus court costs.

Nixon was charged with forgery of a government instrument, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

She admitted cashing a phony $500 Hurricane Harvey relief check at a Houston supermarket in September 2017. The check purportedly had been issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

April 18

Leobardo V. Rodriguez, 46, of Pecos was indicted for motor fuel tax evasion for allegedly obtaining untaxed diesel fuel unlawfully from an oilfield lease site in Reeves County two years ago.

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.

In late March of 2017, the defendant 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. Non-taxable diesel is dyed red and allowed only for off-road or agricultural use by permit-holders.

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

His arrest arose from an ongoing oilfield 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.

The case is pending prosecution in Reeves County.

Rauly Michel Veranes, 30, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a Pearland store in January.

Local police reported witnessing the purchases and arrested the defendant on the premises. His pickup truck had been modified to conceal an auxiliary tank and other equipment designed to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of motor fuel, according to reports.

Rauly is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also are charging him with felony credit card abuse.

CID assisted the Pearland Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Brazoria County.

Marcelino Montano Hidalgo, 66, and Bienvenido Montano Hidalgo, 50, both of Houston, were indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain more than 95 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $250 from a chain convenience store in Pearland in March.

Each of the defendants is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; and with engaging in a fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Local authorities also have charged them with fraudulently using identification and engaging in organized criminal activity.

The defendants and two other suspects were operating a pickup truck and a box truck, both of which had been modified with hoses, nozzles, electric pumps and auxiliary tanks mounted in the beds to receive, transport and dispense fuel, according to reports. The foursome were reportedly passing re-encoded charge cards to each other between the vehicles.

Store employees observed the illegal transactions and alerted Pearland police. Officers reported that the suspects attempted to conceal and dispose of their wallets and the 49 “cloned” cards recovered when police arrived.

CID assisted the Pearland Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Brazoria County.

Deepak Chalise, 48, of Irving was indicted for allegedly possessing large amounts of tobacco last October on which more than $50 in taxes were due.

The defendant, who owns and operates tobacco shops in Tyler and Frankston, also was indicted for allegedly transporting both unstamped cigarettes and untaxed tobacco products from Louisiana into Texas on or before Oct. 3, 2018. The products included unstamped cigarettes, cigarillos, loose tobacco and snuff, according to investigators who discovered the contraband during inspections.

These cases are pending prosecution in Smith County. Chalise also is under indictment on another possession charge stemming from a separate incident that occurred on the same date. That case is pending prosecution in Anderson County.

All four offenses are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

April 17

Jose Manuel Martinez, 30, and Jose Luis Marquez, 19, both of San Elizario, were indicted for allegedly using an oilfield pipeline company’s fleet fuel card to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel for resale from a Fort Stockton convenience store on two occasions last June.

Acting on information from a cooperating witness, investigators set up a “sting” operation on June 21 using a truck tractor pulling a trailer, both of which the witness provided. One of the defendants used the card at a pump from which he dispensed fuel into the truck, while the other kept watch in a car parked nearby. On the witness’ prearranged signal, officers first detained the suspect at the pump, then the lookout.

For not paying the applicable backup tax, each defendant is charged with two counts of motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Marquez also is charged with two counts of credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

CID assisted the Texas Rangers in the investigation of the cases, which are pending prosecution in Pecos County.

April 16

Tariq Sabah Khalifa, 37, of Watauga was arrested for allegedly operating “8-liner” video games without state-issued decals and for having unstamped cigarettes at his Fort Worth convenience store.

Acting on a tip, CID investigators inspecting the premises observed six of the gaming devices in operation, none of which bore current tax decals. They also discovered two cigarillo boxes containing 91 cigarette sticks with no evidence of taxes having been paid.

Khalifa is charged with operating coin-operated amusement machines without a valid state license or registration certificate and with possessing less than 10,000 unstamped cigarettes. Each offense 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 15

Suraj Thapa, 29, of Irving was arrested for allegedly operating gaming machines unlawfully at his Fort Worth tobacco shop.

During an inspection, CID investigators observed a game room containing several machines. No state license or registration certificate were visible, nor could employees produce them, according to reports.

Thapa is charged with operating coin-operated amusement machines without a general business license or registration certificate, 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 13

Barbaro Rafael Marquez-Dominguez, 42, of Austin was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain approximately 227 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $650 from a Baytown truck stop.

A store manager claims to have witnessed the purchases and shut down the pump during the last of three transactions. The manager flagged down an off-duty police officer who had driven onto the premises and pursued the suspect when he fled in a flatbed pickup truck.

Upon arresting him, the officer discovered that his vehicle had been modified to conceal a hidden storage tank, hose, pump and metered nozzle designed to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel. No license or permit to transport fuel were found or produced, according to reports.

Marquez-Dominguez is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or proper shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Baytown Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Chambers County.

April 12

Jose Arnoldo Llanso Varona, 42, of Austin was indicted for allegedly throwing 17 re-encoded gift cards out the passenger-side window of a pickup truck during a traffic stop after a fuel theft at an Austin convenience store in August 2017.

He is charged with tampering with physical evidence, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

His alleged accomplice had pumped 89 gallons of diesel fuel worth $200 into an auxiliary tank concealed in the truck bed in order to avoid paying backup motor fuels tax.

CID officers reportedly observed the pair earlier attempting to use some of the cards to acquire fuel at a service station in Bastrop County.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

April 11

Ramon Adalberto Aguero-Velazco, 49, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court to engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and two years’ probation. He also was ordered to pay court costs.

The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Aguero-Velazco was convicted of acting as an unlawful motor fuel transporter in December 2017.

During a traffic stop in Houston, a police officer observed an auxiliary fuel tank "bladder" in the bed of his pickup truck. An inspection revealed that the vehicle had been modified to transport motor fuel.

CID assisted the Houston Police Department in the investigation of the case.

April 4

Elder Boney Ramirez Jimenez, 46, an El Paso auto dealer, pleaded guilty in an El Paso district court to falsifying temporary dealer tags last spring in order to conduct business despite having an expired state license. He was sentenced to six months in jail, three years’ probation, 200 hours of community service and a $4,000 fine.

He admitted to fraudulent tampering with a governmental record, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID investigators determined that Ramirez Jimenez cut out information and used correction fluid to make unauthorized changes to the tags he was issuing while continuing to sell vehicles without renewing his state license. They discovered the altered documents during a May 2018 tax inspection of Boney Auto Sales in El Paso.

April 1

Brandon Alexander Maravella, 20, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to unlawfully obtain almost 54 gallons of diesel fuel from a Katy convenience store in January.

For failing to pay the required backup tax, Maravella is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. He also is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

A store employee reported observing the defendant using multiple cards to pump diesel fuel into a pickup truck three times in less than an hour. When city police confronted the defendant, he allegedly admitted being paid by an unidentified relative to use fraudulent cards to purchase and transport diesel fuel.

A search revealed that the vehicle contained two, 100-gallon auxiliary tanks in the truck bed. It had been further modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel. Several “cloned” gift cards were confiscated, according to reports.

Local authorities also have charged him with felony credit/debit card abuse.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Warren Raymond Nugent, 58, a Dallas concrete contractor, pleaded guilty in a Collin County district court to attempting to violate motor fuel tax laws and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction), six months’ probation, 20 hours of community service and a $2,000 fine.

He also was ordered to pay court costs and surrender his dyed diesel fuel permit.

The Texcon president was accused of the felony offenses of unlawfully obtaining and using dyed diesel fuel and failing to pay taxes due. He admitted to committing a lesser, included Class B misdemeanor in exchange for dismissal of the two felonies in the plea agreement.

Nugent had been indicted for purchasing motor fuel with intent to evade tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, and for using dyed diesel fuel on a public roadway despite having submitted a signed statement to the contrary, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Prosecutors dropped a second-degree felony motor fuel tax evasion charge.

Frisco police stopped Nugent's truck in November of 2017 for equipment violations and impounded it. Officers found red-dyed diesel (RDD) in the “sidesaddle” motor fuel supply tanks.

Subsequent investigation revealed RDD purchases from two fuel companies under a signed statement on file that the fuel would not be used to operate motor vehicles on public roadways. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

Ronney Vera, 28, of Miami, Fla. pleaded guilty in a Williamson County district court to stealing approximately 250 gallons of diesel fuel from a convenience store in Thrall last summer. He was sentenced to two days in jail and assessed court costs.

He admitted to committing property theft of between $750 and $2,500, a Class A misdemeanor.

Vera had been indicted for motor fuel tax evasion, as well as engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license by acting as a motor fuel transporter without the requisite documentation. Both offenses are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; they were dismissed in the plea agreement.

On July 1, 2018, Williamson County sheriff's deputies caught Vera a block away from the store. He had used a fuel pump to siphon the diesel from its underground storage tanks into one of two 300-gallon "tote tanks" concealed in the back of a panel van.

Layden Garrett Walker, 32, a San Antonio car dealer, was indicted for not remitting motor vehicle sales taxes and fees collected in 2016 and 2017.

The Deuces Auto owner allegedly withheld taxes and registration and title transfer fees totaling more than $8,000 collected on sales of 19 vehicles from February 2016 through May 2017.

He is charged with failure to remit tax collected of more than $1,500 but less than $20,000, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

The case is pending prosecution in Bexar County.

Armando Carmona, 55, of Harlingen was indicted for unlawfully transporting approximately 900 gallons of dyed diesel fuel from Brownsville to Weslaco in November 2017.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without proper shipping documents, both of which are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID investigators had followed the defendant’s pickup truck after observing it in a store parking lot. The truck’s entire bed was covered by an auxiliary storage tank, making it appear to be a fuel truck despite having no exterior markings.

Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and allowed only for off-road or agricultural use by permit-holders.

The case is pending prosecution in Cameron County.


January to March

March 2019

March 29

Yasel Rodriguez Yedra, 35, of Houston was indicted for driving a vehicle containing unlawfully obtained diesel fuel on a public roadway in Pearland last September.

He is charged with transporting motor fuel without proper shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Local police observed the defendant at a service station pumping diesel fuel into a gasoline-powered pickup truck, on the side opposite the fuel tank door. During a subsequent traffic stop, the officer discovered an auxiliary “bladder” tank fitted with nozzles hidden beneath plywood in the truck bed, reports show. The defendant allegedly could not produce a cargo manifest or other shipping document.

CID assisted the Pearland Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Brazoria County.

March 27

Yoandri Rodriguez Trujillo, 32, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain almost 31 gallons of diesel fuel worth $75 from a Katy convenience store in late January.

For failing to pay the required backup tax, Trujillo is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. He also is charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

After a brief chase, the defendant was apprehended and brought to the Katy police station. Investigators discovered a large auxiliary fuel tank concealed beneath the bed cover of the defendant’s pickup truck. The vehicle had been modified with a switch, pump, hose and nozzle to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, according to reports. Officers also confiscated 10 “cloned” credit cards.

Katy police assisted CID in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

March 21

Javier Roberto Paraleda, 32, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain large quantities of motor fuel from a Pearland convenience store in February 2018.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The defendant allegedly used a “cloned” card to pump fuel into an auxiliary tank concealed in his pickup truck. The vehicle had been modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of motor fuel, according to reports. Investigators claim to have linked the truck and confiscated cards to other fraudulent purchases.

CID assisted the Pearland Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Brazoria County.

Yosbel Nunez Hernandez, 38, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain large quantities of motor fuel from a Pearland convenience store in August 2018.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The defendant allegedly used a “cloned” card to pump fuel into an auxiliary tank concealed in his pickup truck. The vehicle had been modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of motor fuel, according to reports. Investigators recovered multiple credit cards not belonging to the defendant.

CID assisted the Pearland Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Brazoria County.

Mohammed Yasien Noorani, 51, of Tyler was arrested on suspicion of selling out-of-state tobacco products on which more than $1,000 in Texas taxes went unpaid and for failing to keep required records.

The owner/operator of MM Novelty in Tyler allegedly bought snuff, cigars, cigarillos, chewing tobacco and other products from vendors in Illinois and Michigan. Investigators reported finding no valid invoices showing payment of Texas tobacco taxes.

Noorani is charged with possessing tobacco products having more than $50 in taxes due and with books and records violations. The offenses are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Smith County.

March 13

Buon Thach, 40, of Balch Springs was arrested for allegedly operating 54 coin-operated amusement machines at his game room without a license.

Investigators discovered machines without the required tax permit decals affixed belonging to the suspect during a March 7 inspection in Balch Springs. He turned himself in six days later at the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office.

Operating such machines without a license or registration certificate 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 Dallas County.

March 12

Victor Milton Jimenez, 50, of Fort Worth pleaded guilty in a Tarrant County criminal court to giving officers a phony birth date while being wanted on an outstanding warrant.

He was sentenced to 21 days in jail, with credit for time served, and assessed court costs.

Jimenez admitted to failing to identify himself as a fugitive from justice by intentionally giving false information to a peace officer. The Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail, a maximum fine of $4,000 or both.

Investigators inspecting a Fort Worth convenience store in January asked Jimenez, a store employee, for identification. He initially provided a false birth date, and officers subsequently learned of a warrant for his arrest on a misdemeanor drug charge.

March 8

Yuniel Nunez Fernandez, 36, Luis Angel Moreno Lopez, 50, Marcelino Montano Hidalgo, 66, and Bienvenido Montano Hidalgo, 50, all of Houston, were arrested for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain more than 95 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $250 from a chain convenience store in Pearland.

The suspects were driving a pickup truck and a box truck, both of which had been modified with hoses, nozzles, electric pumps and auxiliary tanks mounted in the beds to receive, transport and dispense fuel, according to reports. The foursome were reportedly passing charge cards to each other between the vehicles.

Store employees observed the illegal transactions and alerted Pearland police. They claim that the suspects attempted to conceal and dispose of their wallets and the 49 “cloned” cards recovered when police arrived.

Each of the suspects is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; engaging in a fuel transaction without a license and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the trucks), which are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Local authorities also charged them with fraudulently using identification and engaging in organized crime.

CID assisted the Pearland Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Brazoria County.

March 7

William Euceda, 45, of Harlingen was arrested for allegedly offering for sale at three convenience stores tobacco products on which he owed more than $550 in state taxes.

During an inspection, investigators reportedly found tobacco wrapping papers ordered on line from an out-of-state wholesale distributor that does not have a Texas tobacco tax permit. An audit determined that other tobacco products also had been purchased through the internet without paying Texas taxes.

Euceda is charged with possessing tobacco products having more than $50 in taxes due. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Cameron County.

March 4

Osmel Enrique Rodriguez Escalona, 34, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain large quantities of diesel fuel from two Katy service stations last October.

For failing to produce the required documentation, he is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID investigators and Katy police observed the transaction while conducting surveillance. They reportedly recovered 19 “cloned” charge cards from the defendant. His pickup truck had been outfitted with a 200-gallon auxiliary tank consistent with fuel transporting, according to reports.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Erik Edward Reynolds, 37, of Fort Worth pleaded guilty in a Tarrant County criminal court to not producing state tax-related records for coin-operated amusement machines. He was sentenced to five days in jail (with credit for time served) and a $150 fine, plus court costs.

When contacted by CID in January, Reynolds failed to produce records as required on 121 coin-operated machines he owned, including some “8-liners.” The offense is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a maximum fine of $2,000 or both.

During the course of the investigation, Reynolds allegedly lied about reporting to the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office that many of the machines had been stolen in 2017. A separate charge of making a false statement to a peace officer, also a Class B misdemeanor, was dismissed in the plea agreement.

February 2019

Feb. 28

Miguel Daniel Camejo-Suarez, 24, of Katy was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain almost 112 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $330 from a Brookshire truck stop.

A store employee observed the transaction and alerted police.

Investigators discovered an auxiliary tank “bladder” containing diesel fuel that was concealed in the bed of the suspect’s pickup truck. Reports show that the vehicle had been outfitted to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

For failing to pay backup taxes, Camejo-Suarez is charged with motor fuel tax evasion. He also is charged with transporting motor fuel without proper shipping documents based on the truck’s modifications. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Additionally, he is charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also are charging Camejo-Suarez with felony credit card abuse.

CID assisted the Brookshire Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Waller County.

Feb. 15

Anier Gamboa Rodriguez, 29, of Austin pleaded guilty in a Travis County district court to unlawfully transporting motor fuel without proper shipping documents in 2017.

He received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and was sentenced to two years’ probation, fined $500 and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service, plus pay court costs.

A related motor fuel tax evasion charge included in his September 2018 indictment was dismissed in the plea agreement.

Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Rodriguez had been observed purchasing large quantities of gasoline at an Austin convenience store. Eight re-encoded charge cards were found in his possession during a subsequent motor fuel tax compliance inspection. Investigators determined that he used one of the “cloned” cards to purchase numerous gallons of unleaded gasoline.

Feb. 14

Xavier Murguia Sandoval, 52, of El Paso was arrested for allegedly defrauding an El Paso woman last fall out of $3,250 for a vehicle he sold her on which he still owed money.

The suspect claimed to be an auto dealer, according to reports, and furnished the buyer with temporary dealer tags in exchange for a down payment and monthly installment payments. When he refused to register the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee or provide license plates, she contacted authorities.

Investigators learned that Sandoval had defaulted on his auto loan and an insurance company held a lien on the vehicle.

For withholding that information from the buyer and taking her money, he is charged with fraudulent motor vehicle transfer and theft. Each offense is a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

Department of Public Safety investigators and El Paso County constables assisted CID in serving arrest warrants in the case, which is pending prosecution in El Paso County.

Feb. 10

Yasmany Rodriguez Herrera, 31, of Dumas was arrested for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to unlawfully acquire diesel fuel from an Amarillo retail supplier.

When the business owner approached the suspect’s vehicle at a pump island, he sped away and the owner pursued him. A brief chase ensued before Potter County sheriff’s deputies stopped the vehicle and arrested the suspect.

Herrera is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without proper shipping documents. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Potter County.

Feb. 8

Rodney Yoshmitsu Kuba, 64, of Abilene was arrested for allegedly possessing almost 400 packages of untaxed tobacco and failing to comply with bookkeeping requirements.

Kuba is accused of selling shisha/hookah tobacco on which he owed almost $600 in state taxes at his adult accessories and smoke shop last September. He allegedly did not keep records for the tobacco transactions dating back four years.

Kuba was indicted in early January for possession of tobacco on which more than $50 in taxes are past due and for books and records violations. Each offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Jones County.

Wilfredo Lorenzo Rodriguez, 47, of Odessa and Francisco J. Reyes, 32, of Homestead, Fla. were arrested for using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain almost 95 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $300 and a sizable quantity worth more than $293, respectively, from a Monahans convenience store.

The suspects allegedly used pickup trucks modified with concealed auxiliary tanks, hoses, nozzles and pumps designed to receive, transport and dispense hundreds of gallons of fuel. Investigators confiscated more than 35 “cloned” cards from the suspects, reports show.

For failing to pay backup taxes, the pair each are charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. In addition, they are charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the trucks), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Because he allegedly drove onto a public roadway with untaxed diesel, Rodriguez also is charged with transporting motor fuel without proper shipping documentation. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

CID assisted the Monahans Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Ward County.

Feb. 6

Kayla Nicole Simpson, 19, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court in December to forgery and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction), two years’ probation, a $100 fine plus restitution and 80 hours of community service.

In the plea bargain, the charge of forging a government instrument was reduced from a third-degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, to a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

Simpson admitted cashing a phony $500 Hurricane Harvey relief check at a Houston supermarket in September 2017.

Feb. 1

Manuel Eugenia Civil, 52, a Tyler auto dealer, pleaded guilty in a Smith County district court to falsifying motor vehicle registration documents and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and three years’ probation. He also was ordered to pay court costs and perform 400 hours of community service.

Civil, who owns and operates Galaxie Autoplex, admitted to forging five vehicle title applications filed with the Smith County tax office between November 2016 and June 2017. He understated the sales prices and pocketed the difference in motor vehicle sales taxes collected from the buyers.

A sixth case was dismissed in the plea agreement.

Providing false vehicle registration information is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

January 2019

Jan. 31

James Wesley King, 53, of Forney was arrested for allegedly threatening to attack a Comptroller employee over civil actions taken as required by the state Tax Code.

In response, the suspect allegedly left six voicemail messages for a CPA enforcement officer in Dallas. In them, the caller threatened more than once to punch her in the face. Claiming that locating her residence would not be difficult, the caller warned her to “watch your back.”

King is charged with making a terroristic threat against a public servant. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

Kaufman County sheriff’s deputies assisted CID in locating and arresting the suspect. The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Jan. 29

Maikel Avila-Perez, 38, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain approximately 30 gallons of diesel fuel in Katy.

Katy police observed the suspect pumping diesel fuel into an auxiliary tank hidden in the bed of his pickup truck. A subsequent search revealed that the vehicle had been modified with pumps and nozzles to receive and dispense large quantities of motor fuel. Officers confiscated four “cloned” credit cards, according to reports.

Avila-Perez is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license or cargo manifest, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Gabriel Aleman Palmero, 30, of Channelview was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a Katy convenience store in mid-December.

For failing to pay the required backup tax, he is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. He also is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license or cargo manifest and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Investigators claim that the defendant pumped almost 54 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $140 into an auxiliary "bladder" hidden in the bed of his pickup truck. A subsequent search revealed that the vehicle had been modified with pumps and nozzles to receive and dispense large quantities of motor fuel. Multiple “cloned” gift cards were confiscated as well, according to reports.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Aliam Lazar de Armas Correa, 30, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to unlawfully obtain $100 worth of diesel fuel from a Hempstead grocery store.

A deputy sheriff observed the suspect pumping diesel directly into an auxiliary “bladder” hidden in the bed of his pickup truck. A search revealed that the vehicle had been modified with hoses, nozzles and pumps to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel. Several “cloned” gift cards were confiscated, according to reports.

For failing to pay the required backup tax, De Armas Correa is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, along with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping document. Both offenses are second-degree felonies, each punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. He also is charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Local authorities also charged him with felony credit/debit card abuse and fraudulent use/possession of identifying information.

CID assisted the Waller County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Waller County.

Jan. 24

Brandon Alexander Maravella, 20, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to unlawfully obtain almost 54 gallons of diesel fuel from a Katy convenience store.

A store employee reported observing the suspect using multiple cards to pump diesel fuel into a pickup truck for the third time in less than an hour. When city police confronted the suspect, he allegedly admitted being paid by an unidentified relative to use fraudulent cards to purchase and transport diesel fuel.

A search revealed that the vehicle contained two, 100-gallon, auxiliary tanks in the truck bed. It had been further modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel. Several “cloned” gift cards were confiscated, according to reports.

For failing to pay the required backup tax, Maravella is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. He also is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Local authorities also charged him with felony credit/debit card abuse.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Jan. 23

Yoandri Trujillo, 32, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain almost 31 gallons of diesel fuel worth $75 from a Katy convenience store.

After a brief chase, the suspect was apprehended and brought to the Katy police station. Investigators discovered a large auxiliary fuel tank concealed beneath the bed cover of the pickup truck driven by the suspect. The vehicle had been modified with a switch, pump, hose and nozzle to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, according to reports. Officers also confiscated 10 “cloned” credit cards.

For failing to pay the required backup tax, Trujillo is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, along with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping document, both second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. He also is charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Katy police assisted CID in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Jan. 18

Mohammad Tahir Khan, 59, of Waco was arrested for allegedly buying almost $20,000 worth of tobacco from an out-of-state distributor in the fall of 2017 without paying several thousands of dollars in Texas tobacco taxes.

Khan is charged with eight counts of possessing tobacco products on which state taxes are due, along with books and records violations for not producing invoices for the transactions. Both offenses are third-degree felonies each punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

An official with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Criminal Tax Investigations alerted CID to the illicit purchases allegedly made by the suspect. The products were shipped for resale to a Bellmead tobacco retailer, according to reports.

The case is pending prosecution in McLennan County.

Jan. 15

Victor Milton Jimenez, 50, of Fort Worth was arrested for allegedly giving officers a phony birth date while being wanted on an outstanding warrant.

Investigators inspecting a Fort Worth convenience store asked the suspect, a store employee, for identification. He initially provided a false birth date, and officers subsequently learned of a warrant for his arrest on a misdemeanor drug charge, according to reports.

Jimenez is charged with failure to identify himself as a fugitive from justice by intentionally giving false information, 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.

Jan. 11

Alexander Rosales Guerrero, 31, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a Katy service station in late October.

For acting as a motor fuel transporter without the required permit, Guerrero is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Investigators discovered a "bladder" containing diesel fuel in the bed of the suspect's pickup truck, reports show. The vehicle had been modified with auxiliary pumps and nozzles enabling it to receive, transport and dispense fuel, according to investigators. They also reported confiscating multiple “cloned” gift cards.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Jan. 10

Santiago Guerra Arteaga, 31, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded gift card to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a Katy service station.

Investigators discovered a fuel “bladder” in the bed of the suspect's pickup truck, which had been modified with pumps and nozzles to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel. They also reportedly confiscated multiple "cloned" gift cards.

Arteaga is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transporter's license or cargo manifest, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Ana Marys Tapanes-Iglesias, 33, and Inalbys Lopez-Estrada, 35, both of Houston, were indicted for allegedly transporting diesel fuel in Katy without proper documentation in late September.

They are charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

After observing the co-defendants’ pickup truck on a public roadway and approaching it, a city police officer detected a diesel fuel odor and conducted a search. Concealed beneath the covered truck bed was an auxiliary fuel "bladder" connected to one of several hoses and nozzles, as well as pumps. The apparatus was designed to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, according to reports.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Yudeyvis Rodriguez-Galban, 40, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel at a Katy service station.

For acting as a transporter, Rodriguez-Galban is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also are charging him with felony credit card abuse.

The suspect was caught pumping diesel into the modified fuel port of a box truck, according to investigators. The fuel tank also had been modified to pull fuel into a plastic tote tank located beneath the vehicle's enclosed rear cargo area.

Officers found 35 "cloned" credit cards in the suspect's possession, reports show, but no permits or cargo manifests.

CID assisted Katy police in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Jan. 9

Roberto Arizon-Marin, 40, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel for resale from a Baytown convenience store.

Investigators discovered that the defendant's pickup truck and cargo trailer had been modified with auxiliary tanks to receive and transport motor fuel. They also reportedly confiscated approximately 30 "cloned" charge cards in his possession. The suspect allegedly admitted re-selling diesel fuel to commercial truckers, according to reports.

Arizon-Marin is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transporter's license or cargo manifest, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also filed a credit card abuse charge against him.

CID assisted the Baytown Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

2018

October to December

December 2018

Dec. 27

Khaled Kheran Mohammed, 23, of Fresno, Calif. was arrested for allegedly hauling untaxed tobacco in bulk across the country from Chicago en route to Fresno.

A Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper encountered the suspect on U.S. Highway 287 in Clay County, east of Wichita Falls, while responding to reports from passersby that his car was on fire. The suspect’s sport-utility vehicle was pulling a dolly carrying a passenger sedan.

During a subsequent inspection and consent to search, a CID investigator discovered 312 boxes of untaxed cigarillos.

Mohammed is charged with transporting tobacco products without paying taxes, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted DPS in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Clay County.

Dec. 21

Miguel A. Tamayo Torres, 35, of Katy was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain motor fuel from a Katy convenience store last September.

He is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transporter’s license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Dec. 20

Enio Ramen Leyva, 32, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to unlawfully obtain 52 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 from a Katy truck stop last September and transporting it without a license.

He is charged with credit/debit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years. Leyva previously was charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transporter's license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

An employee observed the suspect using “cloned” gift cards at a diesel fuel pump from which he was filling an auxiliary "bladder" hidden in the bed of his pickup truck. A subsequent search revealed that the vehicle had been modified with pumps and nozzles to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, according to reports.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Dec. 19

Adrian Cardenas-Martinez, 29, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel for resale from a Katy gas station last September.

He is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transporter's license or cargo manifest, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Investigators discovered that the defendant's box truck had been modified with auxiliary tanks, hoses and nozzles to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel. They also reportedly found 106 "cloned" charge cards in his possession, some of which he reportedly used to make multiple transactions on the date of the alleged offense.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Dec. 18

Yasser Izquierdo Hernandez, 30, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded gift card belonging to a Fort Worth police detective to unlawfully obtain 137 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $368 at a Weimar truck stop.

The detective’s bank had texted him that his card number was in use there. The detective then alerted Weimar police that an unauthorized transaction was in progress, leading to the suspect’s arrest at the scene. Investigators recovered numerous “cloned” cards containing fraudulent charge card information, according to reports.

They also discovered diesel fuel in four plastic “tote” tanks in the rear cargo area of the suspect’s box van. Investigators estimated that each auxiliary tank can hold at least 250 gallons.

For failing to pay the required backup tax, Hernandez is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Local authorities are filing a felony credit/debit card abuse case against him as well.

CID assisted the Texas Department of Public Safety and Weimar Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Colorado County.

Dec. 16

Jor-el Robert Blackmon, 39, of Fort Worth was arrested for allegedly using red dyed diesel fuel in two pickup trucks and storing it in containers and an auxiliary tank at his residence in late November.

The suspect is believed to have taken the fuel from a South Texas well drilling site operated by his employer. In Texas, to distinguish it from taxed diesel, nontaxable diesel is dyed red. It is authorized almost exclusively for off-road, agricultural use by permit-holders.

Blackmon is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, and with delivering dyed diesel fuel into a motor vehicle for use on a public roadway, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Dec. 6

Yoelvis Herrera Frometa, 30, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain a large quantity of diesel fuel.

After pulling over the suspect’s cargo van, investigators discovered a 250-gallon auxiliary tank inside that is typically used to transport diesel fuel without authorization, according to reports.

Frometa is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Harris County Sheriff’s Office with the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Maikel Orlans Abad Suarez, 38, of Pasadena pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court to motor fuel tax evasion and received three years’ probation and a $500 fine, plus fees and court costs.

The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Suarez admitted using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 31 gallons of diesel fuel worth $85 from a Pasadena service station last April. He pumped it into an auxiliary “bladder” concealed inside his sport-utility vehicle without paying the required backup tax.

Dec. 3

Rubber Guerra Rios, 31, of Austin pleaded guilty to attempting to evade motor fuel taxes and was sentenced to one day in jail (time served) and a $1,000 fine, plus fees and court costs.

The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

Rios was indicted for motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without proper documentation. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

He allegedly use a "cloned" credit card to unlawfully obtain 98 gallons of diesel fuel worth $212 from an Austin gas station and pump it into the auxiliary tank of a pickup truck in June 2017.

Michael Quesada Tamayo, 38, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Fort Bend County district court (in September) to motor fuel tax evasion and was sentenced to three years in prison. He was credited with 113 days’ jail time served and ordered to pay court costs.

Tamayo had been indicted on three counts of evasion for failing to pay required backup taxes. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

He will serve the same sentence concurrently for pleading guilty to fraudulent use/possession of identifying information, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Dismissed in the plea agreement was a similar but lesser charge punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

Tamayo admitted using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain large quantities of diesel fuel from a Katy service station in November 2017.

Katy police caught Tamayo pumping diesel fuel into a large auxiliary "bladder" hidden in the bed of his pickup truck. The vehicle had been modified with pumps and nozzles to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.


November 2018

Nov. 26

Felicia Yvonne Polk, 36, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court to forging a $500 disaster relief check, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and four years' probation.

She was charged with forgery of a government instrument, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Polk admitted cashing a phony check for Hurricane Harvey aid at a Houston supermarket in late September 2017. The check purportedly had been issued by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The store chain's corporate security department assisted CID with the investigation.

Nov. 14

Yexis A. Benavides Estrada, 24, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to unlawfully obtain and transport more than 100 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $300 from a Katy convenience store.

A Katy police detective caught the suspect after he allegedly made three transactions using a "cloned" discount store gift card containing superimposed credit card information. The fuel was pumped into the large auxiliary tank of a flat-bed truck modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, according to reports.

Benavides Estrada is charged with transporting motor fuel without a state-issued license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also have charged him with felony credit card abuse. Officers confiscated 23 cards during the arrest.

A CID investigator assisted Katy police in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Nov. 13

Michel Rivero La Rosa, 34, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 41 gallons of diesel fuel tax free from a Katy service station in mid-October.

Rivero is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and purchasing motor fuel tax free without authorization, both of which are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

During a traffic stop, officers discovered a fuel port protruding from the rear of the suspect's flatbed truck. The vehicle had been modified with an auxiliary fuel tank, pump and nozzles enabling it to receive, transport and dispense fuel, according to investigators. They confiscated 29 "cloned" credit cards from the suspect but found no license or cargo manifest as required by state law.

CID assisted Katy police in investigating the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Nov. 7

Reynier Salcedo Milanes, 37, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain large quantities of diesel fuel from a Baytown convenience store and concealing it in an auxiliary tank hidden in the bed of his pickup truck.

He is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Nov. 5

Francisco Javier Aguiar-Leon, 48, of Katy was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 52 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 from a Katy truck stop in late September.

An employee reportedly observed the defendant placing a pump nozzle directly into a hose connected to an auxiliary "bladder" concealed in the rear passenger area of a van. It had been modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel.

Aguiar-Leon is charged with the enhanced offense of motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Maylet Aguilera, 27, and Luismel Morales-Figueroa, 26, both of Katy, were indicted for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to unlawfully obtain almost 66 gallons of diesel fuel worth $200 from a Katy truck stop in late September.

The pair each are charged with motor fuel tax evasion and purchasing motor fuel tax free without authorization. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

An employee and an off-duty police officer reportedly observed the defendants pumping fuel into an auxiliary "bladder" concealed in the bed of a pickup truck. It reportedly had been modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel. Several credit cards not belonging to the defendants were confiscated during their subsequent arrest.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Nov. 1

Andre Cano, 35, a Harlingen auto dealer, was indicted for retaining tens of thousands of dollars in taxes and fees collected on sales of 73 vehicles in 2016.

The owner of Harlingen Texas Motor City allegedly failed to remit more than $20,000 but less than $100,000 in motor vehicle sales tax collections and almost $8,200 in vehicle title and registration fees collected, according to the two-count indictment.

He is charged with failure to remit taxes collected, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, as well as misapplication of fiduciary property, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

The case is pending prosecution in Cameron County.

Arnel Garcia-Fernandez, 29, and Juan Gelsi Corrales, 39, both of Pflugerville, pleaded guilty in a Travis County district court and were sentenced to two years' probation for unlawfully obtaining almost 800 gallons of diesel fuel from three Austin convenience stores in February 2017.

They each admitted to concealing motor fuel without paying the taxes due, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

During a 10-day period in early February of last year, on three separate occasions the pair pumped more than 200 gallons of diesel fuel out of underground storage tanks into an auxiliary tank concealed inside a modified van operated by Garcia-Fernandez. Corrales drove a blocking vehicle and acted as a lookout, according to investigators' reports.

Dismissed in the plea agreement were charges of motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The Round Rock Police Department assisted CID with the investigation.


October 2018

Oct. 31

Osmel Enrique Rodriguez-Escalona, 33, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain large quantities of diesel fuel from two Katy service stations.

For failing to produce the required permit, he is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted Katy police in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Alexander Rosales Guerrero, 21, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a Katy service station.

Officers discovered a "bladder" containing diesel in the bed of the suspect's pickup truck. The vehicle had been modified with auxiliary pumps and nozzles enabling it to receive and dispense fuel, according to investigators.

For acting as a motor fuel transporter without the required permit, Guerrero is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted Katy police in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Oct. 30

Yudeyvis Rodriguez-Galban, 40, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel at a Katy service station.

The suspect was caught pumping diesel into the modified fuel port of a box truck, according to investigators. The fuel tank also had been modified to pull fuel into a plastic tote tank located beneath the vehicle's enclosed rear cargo area.

Officers found 35 "cloned" credit cards in the suspect's possession but no permits or cargo manifests.

For acting as a transporter, Rodriguez-Galban is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Local authorities also are charging him with felony credit card abuse.

CID assisted Katy police in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Oct. 23

Deepak Chalise, 48, of Irving was arrested for allegedly buying and transporting for resale cigarettes, pipe tobacco and other tobacco products without paying applicable state taxes.

Chalise, who owns and operates grocery stores in Tyler and Frankston, is accused of possessing sizable quantities of untaxed tobacco at his Tyler store. An investigator confiscated dozens of cans of untaxed smokeless tobacco and 163 packs of cigarettes there bearing Louisiana tax stamps. Seized from the Frankston store were several packages of pipe tobacco for sale at a price less than the tax liability, reports show.

Chalise is facing two charges of possessing tobacco on which more than $50 in taxes are due and one charge each of unlawful cigarette and tobacco product transportation. All three offenses are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with unstamped cigarette possession, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

The five cases are pending prosecution in Smith and Anderson counties.

Oct. 18

Daril Gonzalez Martinez, 30, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and four years' probation for using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a Katy service station in May.

Martinez admitted to acting as a motor fuel transporter without the required permit, thereby engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also was ordered to pay court costs.

Officers discovered a "bladder" containing diesel in the bed of the suspect's vehicle, which had been modified with auxiliary pumps and nozzles enabling it to receive and dispense fuel. Multiple "cloned" cards were recovered.

Billy Gerald Hill, 75, of Edinburg, pleaded guilty in a Hidalgo County district court and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and 10 years' probation for not remitting motor vehicle taxes and fees. He also was fined $250 and ordered to pay more than $58,000 in restitution and perform 120 hours of community service.

The auto dealer admitted keeping more than $53,000 in taxes collected on 67 vehicles sold in 2016 and 2017. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Hill also pleaded guilty to misapplication of fiduciary property for withholding $7,500 in vehicle title and registration fees. He was given five years' probation and fined $250 for that offense, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

Oct. 17

Michel Larosa Rivero, 34, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 41 gallons of diesel fuel from a Katy service station.

Officers discovered a fuel port protruding from the rear of the suspect's flatbed truck. The vehicle had been modified with an auxiliary fuel tank, pump and nozzles enabling it to receive and dispense fuel, according to investigators. They confiscated 29 "cloned" credit cards from the suspect.

By acting as a motor fuel transporter without the required permit, Rivero is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted Katy police in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Oct. 16

Jose Andres Aguilera-Rojas, 62, of Austin pleaded guilty in a Comal County district court and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and 10 years' probation for unlawfully obtaining approximately 150 gallons of diesel fuel in March 2017.

By not paying the backup tax, Aguilera-Rojas committed motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. He also was fined $2,000, assessed court costs and ordered to perform 300 hours of community service.

Oct. 15

Juan Carlos Salazar Pelegrin, 45, of Houston was indicted for allegedly transporting approximately 100 gallons of diesel fuel without proper documentation in late August.

Pelegrin is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping document, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Upon stopping his pickup truck for an apparent traffic violation, Katy police reportedly discovered a concealed auxiliary storage tank in the truck bed. Although claiming the fuel inside had been acquired at the direction of his work supervisor, the suspect allegedly could produce no paperwork authorizing its possession. He subsequently declined an interview with a CID investigator.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Noriel Del Valle Perez, 36, of Katy was indicted for motor fuel tax evasion for allegedly using three re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain 169 gallons of diesel fuel from a Katy service station in August without paying the required backup tax.

The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Local authorities also are pursuing felony credit card abuse charges related to the unlawful purchases made with three of the 11 "cloned" cards confiscated from the suspect.

A store manager alerted Katy police upon observing the defendant using multiple cards to activate a fuel pump. He allegedly pumped diesel fuel into concealed "sidesaddle" compartments flanking the bed of a large flatbed truck modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, according to reports.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Arian Pereda, 37, of Austin and Adriel Loriga Garcia, 29, of Port Arthur were indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded fleet credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 92 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $265 from a Katy truck stop in mid-September.

The defendants are charged with two offenses: transporting motor fuel without shipping documents or a cargo manifest, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; and engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

After observing the pair fueling a large box truck and subsequently pulling them over, a Katy police officer discovered a false wooden wall in the vehicle's rear cargo area. Concealed behind the wall were three canisters connected to the main supply tank, plus a pump and hose, all consistent with receiving, transporting and dispensing fuel, according to investigators.

Officers also confiscated 45 "cloned" credit cards and two "skimmer" devices used to capture charge card numbers from electronic-pay machines such as gas pumps.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Oct. 12

Ramon Adalberto Aguero-Velazco, 49, of Houston was indicted for engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license for allegedly acting as an unlawful motor fuel transporter in December 2017.

The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

During a traffic stop in Houston, a police officer observed an auxiliary fuel tank "bladder" in the bed of the defendant's pickup truck. An inspection revealed that the vehicle had been modified to transport motor fuel, reports show.

CID assisted Houston police in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Oct. 3

Luis Perez Delarosa, 21, of Houston was indicted for engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license for allegedly acting as a unlawful motor fuel transporter in July 2018.

The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

A Houston police officer stopped the defendant at a service station after observing him pumping diesel fuel into an auxiliary tank concealed in his pickup truck. An inspection revealed that the vehicle had been modified to transport large quantities of motor fuel. Investigators confiscated 24 "cloned" credit cards from the defendant, reports show.

CID assisted Houston police in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Oct. 2

Ntahokagiye Edmond, 28, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Hays County district court to stealing more than $300 worth of diesel fuel in 2016. He received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and four years' probation and was fined $1,500.

Edmond was convicted of theft of more than $2,500 but less than $30,000, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

Two charges alleging motor fuel tax evasion for failure to pay backup tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000, were dismissed in the plea agreement.

In August 2016, Edmond used three different re-encoded, prepaid debit/gift cards to acquire diesel fuel from a Hays County service station and pump it into storage tanks concealed in a box truck.

Marcos Urdaneta, 53, a Fort Worth auto dealer, was arrested for allegedly submitting fraudulent car title applications that understated the sales prices of three vehicles sold in 2016 and 2017.

The suspect allegedly collected motor vehicle sales taxes from the buyers, then changed tax reports to reflect the false prices – thereby lowering the taxes owed – and pocketed the difference.

Urdaneta faces three charges of providing false information, each a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Oct. 1

Brenda L. Salinas, 34, a Brownsville auto dealer, was indicted for allegedly withholding more than $20,000 in taxes and fees collected on vehicles sold in 2016 and 2017.

She is accused of failing to complete 86 title transfers and not remitting more than $22,000 in motor vehicle sales tax and vehicle title and registration fee collections. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Cameron County.

Ronney Vera, 27, of Miami, Fla. was indicted for allegedly acquiring approximately 250 gallons of gasoline unlawfully from a store in Thrall.

Williamson County sheriff's deputies caught the suspect a block away from the store. He allegedly used a fuel pump to siphon the gas from the store's underground storage tanks into one of two 300-gallon "tote tanks" concealed in the back of a panel van.

Vera is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, as well as engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license by acting as a motor fuel transporter without the requisite documentation. Both offenses are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Williamson County.

Roberto Talavera-Guerra, 38, of Austin pleaded guilty in a Williamson County district court to concealing motor fuel. He was credited with jail time served and ordered to pay court costs.

He was convicted of a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both. It is included within the original offense of motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Dismissed in the plea agreement was a related felony credit card abuse charge punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

Talavera-Guerra acted as lookout for his co-defendant, Yulier Tamayo-Benitez, 34, also of Austin. They were accused of using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully acquire 177 gallons of diesel fuel worth $400 from an Austin convenience store and pumping it into an auxiliary tank hidden in a pickup truck in March 2017.

Tamayo-Benitez pleaded guilty in January to felony credit card abuse and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and four years' probation. He also was ordered to perform 96 hours of community service and pay a $1,500 fine.

David Oyarzabal, 37, and Roberto Flores, 35, both of Laredo, pleaded guilty in a Karnes County court to concealing dyed diesel fuel in their vehicles in December 2017. They each received one-year suspended sentences and 12 months' probation and were ordered to perform 40 hours of community service and pay $500 fines plus court costs.

Motor fuel concealment is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both. Both defendants allegedly failed to pay taxes on the fuel and intended to use it while driving on public roadways.

In Texas, non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized almost exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

The cases arose from a report by an oil well drilling company that some of their employees were stealing dyed diesel. CID investigators discovered dyed diesel in the main supply and auxiliary fuel tanks of both defendants' pickup trucks, reports show. Oyarzabal claimed that the fuel was put into his truck by Flores, who said he bought it in Laredo for $1 a gallon.

July to September

September 2018

Sept. 28

Felicia Yvonne Polk, 36, of Houston was indicted for allegedly cashing a phony $500 Hurricane Harvey relief check at a Houston supermarket in late September 2017.

The check purportedly had been issued by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

She is charged with forgery of a government instrument, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Jose Gamboa Infante, 29, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain large quantities of diesel fuel from a Katy service station in mid-November.

For being unable to produce documentation that the required backup taxes had been paid, Infante was indicted on three counts of motor fuel tax evasion. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Michael Quesada Tamayo, 37, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain large quantities of diesel fuel from a Katy service station in mid-November.

For being unable to produce documentation that the required backup taxes had been paid, Tamayo was indicted on three counts of motor fuel tax evasion. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Sept. 27

Yunior Hernandez Curbelo, 27, of Houston was indicted for allegedly obtaining motor fuel for transporting without a license.

During a traffic stop in Houston in mid-December, officers observed an auxiliary "bladder" in the bed of the suspect's pickup truck. An inspection revealed that the vehicle had been modified to transport motor fuel.

Curbelo is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transporter's license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Houston Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Enio Remon Leyva, 32, of Houston was arrested for allegedly obtaining 52 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 unlawfully from a Katy truck stop and transporting it without a license.

An employee observed the suspect using re-encoded gift cards at a diesel fuel pump from which he was filling an auxiliary "bladder" hidden in the bed of his pickup truck. An inspection revealed that the vehicle had been modified with pumps and nozzles to receive and dispense motor fuel.

Leyva is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transporter's license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County. A credit card abuse case filed by Katy authorities also is pending prosecution.

Yasel Rodriguez Yedra, 35, of Houston was arrested for allegedly transporting diesel fuel without proper documentation after unlawfully obtaining almost 17 gallons worth more than $47 from a Pearland service station.

A city police officer observed the suspect pumping diesel fuel into a gasoline pickup truck on the side opposite from the fuel tank line. During a subsequent traffic stop, the officer discovered an auxiliary "bladder" concealed beneath plywood in the truck bed.

Yedra is charged with transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Pearland Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Brazoria County.

Ana Marys Tapanes-Iglesias, 33, and Inalbys Lopez-Estrada, 35, both of Houston, were arrested in Katy for allegedly transporting diesel fuel without proper documentation.

After observing their pickup truck and detecting an odor of [diesel] fuel, a city police officer searched the vehicle. Concealed beneath the truck bed was an auxiliary fuel "bladder" connected to a hose and nozzle for receiving and dispensing motor fuel.

The co-defendants are charged with motor fuel tax evasion by failing to pay the backup tax and with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Sept. 26

Rafael Montoya Quesada, 41, of Miami, Fla. and Arturo Montoya Aguilera, 46, of Universal City were indicted for motor fuel tax evasion and transporting diesel fuel without proper documentation, both second-degree felonies each punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

They allegedly used a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain 51 gallons of diesel fuel from a discount store gas station and pump it into an auxiliary tank in the bed of a pickup truck in May.

The five-count indictment also charges the co-defendants with three other felonies: credit card abuse, possessing a criminal instrument and engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license.

The case is pending prosecution in Bexar County.

Raunel Pinero-Dieguez, 44, and Raul Silva Perez, 47, both of San Antonio were indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded fleet credit card to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a San Antonio gas company's unmanned card lock location in mid-June.

The co-defendants each are charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting diesel fuel without proper documentation, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. They also are charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transporter's license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The four-count indictment also charges them with felony credit card abuse.

The case is pending prosecution in Bexar County.

Adrian Cardenas-Martinez, 29, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a Katy gas station.

Investigators discovered that the suspect's box truck had been modified with auxiliary tanks, hoses and nozzles to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel. They also reportedly found 106 "cloned" charge cards in his possession.

Cardenas-Martinez is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transporter's license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Roberto Perez-Ramirez, 38, of Palestine pleaded guilty in a Howard County court to concealing motor fuel. He received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and was assessed a $500 fine plus court costs and 24 hours of community service.

The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

The defendant admitted concealing dyed diesel fuel in his vehicle's main supply and auxiliary fuel tanks for use on public roadways in Howard County. In Texas, non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized almost exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

Sept. 22

Maylet Aguilera, 27, of Katy and Luismel Morales Figueroa, 26, of Houston were arrested for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to unlawfully obtain almost 66 gallons of diesel fuel worth $200 from a Katy truck stop.

An employee and off-duty police officer reportedly observed the suspects pumping fuel into an auxiliary "bladder" concealed in the bed of a pickup truck. It reportedly had been modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel.

The pair are each charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transporter's license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Sept. 21

Francisco Javier Aguiar-Leon, 48, of Katy was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 52 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 from a Katy truck stop.

An employee reportedly observed the suspect placing a pump nozzle directly into a hose connected to an auxiliary "bladder" concealed in the rear passenger area of a van. It had been modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel.

Aguiar-Leon is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transporter's license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Sept. 20

Fernando Longoria, 26, of Austin was arrested for allegedly operating multiple "8-liners" at two unlicensed Austin game rooms.

Acting on an anonymous tip, CID investigators inspected the game room premises in Southeast Austin in early August. They discovered 37 video slot machines without the requisite amusement tax decals.

The suspect reportedly admitted owning those machines as well as others at another location on Interstate Highway 35.

Longoria is charged with operating coin-operated amusement machines without a license. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

Upon his arrest on a warrant, cocaine was found in Longoria's wallet during an incidental search while he was being booked into Travis County Jail. He subsequently was charged with possessing a prohibited substance in a correctional facility, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Sept. 18

Livan Miranda Garcia, 49, of Cypress was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain large quantities of diesel fuel from a Waller truck stop.

The suspect was pumping diesel fuel into a cargo-style delivery truck containing two 250-gallon, plastic fuel "totes." Loss prevention staff reportedly observed the suspect and contacted local authorities who conducted surveillance.

Garcia is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Waller County Sheriff's Office in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Waller County.

Donavin Heard, 56, of Long Beach, Calif. was arrested for allegedly trying to defraud the state out of almost $850,000 from a company no longer doing business in Texas.

The suspect reportedly submitted forged documents to the Comptroller's office authorizing and notarizing transfer of ownership to him of all shares held in trust by the Unclaimed Property Division. CID investigators determined that a corporate director and a notary public did not sign the documents.

When the suspect purported to pay back taxes in cash and requested that he receive the funds in person, Comptroller's staff had a check generated and arranged pick-up at the Rusk Building in downtown Austin. Upon signing a receipt, Heard was arrested by officers of CID and the Department of Public Safety.

He is charged with attempted theft of property worth more than $300,000, 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 Travis County.

Sept. 13

Miguel A. Tamayo Torres, 35, of Katy was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain motor fuel from a Katy convenience store.

He is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a transporter's license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Arian Pereda, 37, of Austin and Adriel Loriga Garcia, 29, of Port Arthur were arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded fleet credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 92 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $265 from a Katy truck stop.

After observing the pair fueling a large box truck and subsequently pulling them over, a city police officer discovered a false wooden wall in the vehicle's rear cargo area. Concealed behind the wall were three canisters connected to the main supply tank, plus a pump and hose, all consistent with receiving, transporting and dispensing fuel.

Officers also confiscated 45 "cloned" credit cards and two "skimmers" used to capture charge card numbers from electronic-pay machines such as gas pumps.

The suspects are charged with transporting motor fuel without shipping documents or a cargo manifest, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.


August 2018

Aug. 30

Warren Raymond Nugent, 58, a Dallas concrete contractor, was indicted for allegedly obtaining and using dyed diesel fuel in a company-owned vehicle unlawfully in November 2017 and failing to pay taxes due.

Nugent is charged with purchasing motor fuel with intent to evade tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with using dyed diesel on a public roadway despite having submitted a statement to the contrary, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Frisco police discovered dyed diesel in his truck’s “sidesaddle” tanks during a traffic stop. They also found documentation of purchases from two oil companies made under a signed statement that the vehicle would not operate on public roadways.

Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized almost exclusively for off-road, agricultural use by permit-holders.

The case is pending prosecution in Collin County.

Aug. 29

Adrian Yordanys Pita, 33, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court to motor fuel tax evasion, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and three years’ probation. He also must perform 180 hours of community service.

The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Yordanys Pita admitted using "cloned" credit cards to unlawfully obtain approximately 101 gallons of diesel fuel pumped into a vehicle outside a Houston-area store in February.

In a prior misdemeanor case in Fort Bend County, he previously was sentenced to 330 days in jail for pleading guilty to using a specially modified cargo van to steal diesel fuel. A separate motor fuel tax evasion case involving unlawfully obtained diesel fuel was dismissed in that plea agreement.

Juan Carlos Salazar Pelegrin, 45, of Houston was arrested in Katy for allegedly transporting approximately 100 gallons of diesel fuel without proper documentation.

Upon stopping his pickup truck for an apparent traffic violation, Katy police reportedly discovered a concealed auxiliary storage tank in the truck bed. Although claiming the fuel inside had been acquired at the direction of his work supervisor, the suspect allegedly could produce no paperwork authorizing its possession. He subsequently declined an interview with a CID investigator.

Pelegrin is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping document, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Aug. 28

Sadier Aldazabal-Castillo, 33, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court to engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit and was sentenced to three years’ probation, fined $750 and ordered to perform 150 hours of community service.

The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

In April, the defendant used re-encoded gift cards to unlawfully pump diesel fuel into a “bladder” concealed in the bed of his vehicle. It had been modified to function as a fuel transporter and dispenser, according to reports. Several re-encoded gift cards were confiscated, including the one used in the crime.

Aug. 24

Shateka Modries Johnson Nixon, 30, of Houston was indicted for allegedly cashing a phony $500 Hurricane Harvey relief check at a Houston supermarket in September 2017.

The check purportedly had been issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

She is charged with forgery of a government instrument, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Aug. 16

Danny Lee Allen, 61, and his son, Jonathan Daniel Allen, 37, both of Cleburne, pleaded guilty in a Johnson County district court to motor fuel tax evasion and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction). They each were placed on five years’ probation, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay court costs and perform 240 hours of community service.

The pair admitted to purchasing fuel intending to evade taxes, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. In the plea agreement, similar charges of tax evasion were dismissed along with unlicensed motor fuel transaction charges, a third-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

In late 2016, the Allens used a company credit card belonging to Jonathan Allen’s employer to make several unlawful purchases of dyed diesel for their tractor trucks. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized almost exclusively for off-road or agricultural use by permit-holders.

Manuel Civil, 51, of Tyler was indicted on six counts of falsifying sales price information on vehicle title applications submitted to the Smith County Tax-Assessor Collector’s Office from November 2016 through June 2017.

He is charged with motor vehicle registration forgery, 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 Smith County.

Aug. 9

Noriel Del Valle Perez, 36, of Katy was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain approximately 169 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $300 from a Katy truck stop.

A store manager alerted Katy police upon observing the suspect using multiple cards to activate a fuel pump. The fuel was pumped into concealed “saddle” compartments flanking the bed of a large flatbed truck modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, according to reports.

For failing to pay the required backup tax, Perez is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Local authorities also are pursuing felony credit card abuse charges related to the unlawful purchases made with three of the 11 “cloned” cards confiscated from the suspect.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department with the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Aug. 7

Cristian Javier Rivas-Alvarenga, 28, of Houston was arrested for using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain motor fuel from a Katy convenience store.

For failing to pay the required backup tax, Rivas-Alvarenga is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, 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.

Aug. 3

Dakota Dixon, 26, of New Home was arrested in Ector County on an outstanding warrant for allegedly operating on a public roadway a pickup truck unlawfully containing approximately 67 gallons of non-taxable diesel fuel in December 2017.

Having allegedly failed to pay the required backup tax, a Lynn County grand jury indicted him in April for motor fuel tax evasion. The second-degree felony is punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Bond was set at $75,000.

Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized almost exclusively for off-road, agricultural use by permit-holders.

The case is pending prosecution in Lynn County.

Aug. 2

Antonio LeDaryl Kirkland, 29, of Big Spring pleaded guilty in a Howard County district court to selling a car for which he did not hold lawful title in 2017.

Kirkland received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and was placed on four years’ probation. He was fined $2,500 and ordered to pay court costs and attorney’s fees, as well as perform 300 hours of community service.

He admitted to fraudulently transferring a title to a motor vehicle valued at less than $30,000 and to theft of property worth more than $2,500 but less than $30,000. Both offenses are felonies punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

In May 2017, Kirkland sold a 2009 BMW for $10,000, promising to provide the buyer with the title despite having an unsatisfied lien. A third-party lender still held the title as collateral against Kirkland’s outstanding loan, which he was not paying off.

Brandon James Gressett, 31, of Seminole was arrested for allegedly obtaining dyed diesel fuel unlawfully from his employer, a local construction machine rental service, and offloading it into a storage tank at a residence.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. He was released on $50,000 bond.

Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized almost exclusively for off-road, agricultural use by permit-holders.

CID assisted the Gaines County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Gaines County.

Aug. 1

Rafael Montoya Quesada, 41, of Universal City was arrested for using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain 51 gallons of diesel fuel from a discount store gas station and pump it into an auxiliary tank in the bed of a pickup truck in May.

The suspect and a passenger subsequently were observed attempting unsuccessfully to use “cloned” cards to obtain more diesel fuel at another service station, according to reports.

Quesada is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping document. The second-degree felonies each are punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Universal City Police Department in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Bexar County.

Jose Luis Bell-Morales, 27, of Homestead, Fla. was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 102 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $265 from a truck stop in Luling in late January.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, 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 Caldwell County.


July 2018

July 22

Luis Ochoa-Cabrera, 56, of Seguin was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards on five occasions in the summer of 2016 to unlawfully obtain more than $985 worth of diesel fuel from a convenience store in Seguin.

For failing to pay the backup taxes, he is charged with five counts of motor fuel tax evasion. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Guadalupe County.

July 20

Charles Scott Seale, 46, of Abilene pleaded guilty in a Taylor County district court to tax evasion, received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and was sentenced to four years' probation, fined $3,000 and ordered to pay more than $1,650 in restitution and perform 160 hours of community service.

Seale falsified tax records in 2016 and 2017 related to the bar he owns and operates. He understated the actual amounts of gross receipts sales taxes due on three mixed beverage sales tax reports.

The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

July 18

Rafael Luis Quintero, 22, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using one of 76 re-encoded credit cards in May to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel pumped into a tank concealed in cargo area of his van.

For failing to pay the backup tax, he is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The fuel tax fraud case is pending prosecution in Harris County. The Harris County Sheriff's Office is handling the credit card abuse case.

July 17

Ramon Diaz Oduardo, 54, of Opa-Locka, Fla., was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards in late June to unlawfully obtain fuel from a Houston gas station.

After observing the suspect swiping multiple cards at a pump before departing, Houston police pulled over his pickup truck and reportedly found 22 "cloned" charge cards. An auxiliary tank had been welded beneath the bed of the truck, which investigators say was modified to receive, transport and dispense fuel.

Oduardo is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

July 10

Mohammed Talha Padela, 36, of Sugar Land was indicted for tobacco tax evasion for allegedly possessing hundreds of packages of tobacco products on which more than $12,000 in taxes were unpaid.

The suspect allegedly tried to sell the snuff to a Houston distributor who alerted the Comptroller's office. CID conducted surveillance and discovered the tobacco products in the suspect's vehicle during a subsequent traffic stop.

The offense of possessing tobacco products with tax due of more than $50 is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

July 2

Lazaro Suarez, 26, of Houston was indicted for using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain motor fuel from a Houston convenience store in January.

Houston police stopped the suspect's pickup truck after he allegedly was observed filling an auxiliary storage tank concealed in the truck bed. An inspection revealed that the truck had been modified with pumps and nozzles to transport fuel, according to reports.

Because he allegedly had no permit, Suarez is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction as an unlicensed transporter. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.


Elder Boney Ramirez Jimenez, 45, an El Paso car dealer, was indicted for allegedly falsifying temporary dealer tags in order to conduct business despite his state license having expired.

CID investigators claim that the suspect cut out information and used correction fluid to make unauthorized changes. They discovered the altered documents during a May tax inspection of Boney Auto Sales in El Paso.

Jimenez is charged with fraudulent tampering with a governmental record, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in El Paso County.


Albert Martinez Barrera, 45, of Snyder pleaded guilty in Sterling County district court to motor fuels tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without  shipping documents. He received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and was sentenced to four years' probation and a $1,500 fine plus court costs.

Both offenses are second-degree felonies, each punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Barrera admitted to unlawfully obtaining 700 gallons of diesel fuel in April 2017 from a motor fuel transportation company where he worked as a delivery truck driver. He withheld some diesel fuel from delivery loads, a practice called "short loading," and sold it to third parties off site.

Barrera already is on probation for pleading guilty to similar crimes in Scurry County.  The Sterling County case preceded his being placed on probation in the other jurisdiction. 


Reynier Dominguez Alvarez, 30, of Katy pleaded guilty to motor fuels tax evasion and was sentenced to two years in prison, with credit for 197 days' jail time served.

Alvarez admitted to fraudulently purchasing diesel fuel at a Katy truck stop in October 2017 without paying tax.

The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.  A related case, fraudulent use and/or possession of identifying information, was dismissed in the plea agreement.

April to June

June 2018

June 29

Yacek Exposito, 36, of Corpus Christi was arrested in Midland for allegedly using a company fleet card at a Monahans convenience store to unlawfully obtain and sell almost 450 gallons of motor fuel tax free in April.

Investigators and company officials identified six suspicious transactions over two days involving a card issued to Exposito to fuel the van he drove transporting oil field service employees to and from jobsites. A witness also claims seeing the suspect pumping fuel directly into the tanks of semi-tractor-trailer trucks not belonging to his employer.

For not paying the applicable backup tax, Exposito is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Ward County.

Dennis Ray Kerr Jr., 29, of Denton was arrested for allegedly operating a personal vehicle containing untaxed diesel fuel, some of which was taken from a construction company.

For not paying the applicable backup tax, he is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Red dyed diesel is nontaxable only for limited, off-road or agricultural use by permit-holders.

Kerr’s arrest arose from a tractor theft investigation conducted by Denton police. Investigators reportedly found dyed diesel in containers on his trailer, as well as in the fuel tank of his pickup truck. They believe that Kerr also was selling dyed diesel he had unlawfully obtained, according to reports.

The case is pending prosecution in Denton County.

June 26

Angel Machado Sotolongo, 26, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court to motor fuel tax evasion and was sentenced to two years in prison and assessed court costs.

He was convicted of a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A separate but related credit card abuse case stemming from the same incident was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Sotolongo used a re-encoded credit card with stolen card data to buy diesel fuel without paying the applicable backup tax at a Baytown truck stop last September. Baytown police arrested him in December on an outstanding warrant. A CID investigator filed the fuel tax charge against him while he was in the Harris County Jail.

Ramon Diaz Oduardo, 53, of Opa-Locka, Fla., was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain fuel from a Houston gas station.

After observing the suspect swiping multiple cards at a pump before departing, Houston police pulled over his pickup truck and reportedly found 22 “cloned” charge cards. An auxiliary tank had been welded beneath the bed of the truck, which investigators say was modified to receive, transport and dispense fuel.

Oduardo is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Houston Police Department in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

June 21

Charles Scott Seale, 46, of Abilene was indicted for allegedly falsifying tax records in 2016 and 2017 related to the bar he owns and operates.

He is accused of understating the actual amounts of tax due on three mixed beverage sales tax reports.

Seale is charged with three counts of making a false entry in a tax record. Each offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Taylor County.

Jose Manuel Martinez, 30, and Jose Luis Marquez, 18, both of San Elizario, were arrested for allegedly using an oilfield pipeline company’s fleet fuel card to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel for resale from a Fort Stockton truck stop.

Acting on information from a cooperating witness, investigators set up a “sting” operation using a tractor truck pulling a trailer, both of which the witness provided. One of the suspects used the card at a pump from which he dispensed fuel into the truck, while the other kept watch in a car parked nearby. On the witness’ prearranged signal, officers first detained the suspect at the pump, then the lookout.

For not paying the applicable backup tax, each suspect is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. They also each are charged with credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

CID assisted the Texas Rangers in the investigation. The cases are pending prosecution in Pecos County.

June 15

Stephen Olen Heflin, 40, of Talihina, Okla. pleaded guilty in a Midland County court-at-law to having approximately 64 gallons of untaxed diesel fuel in the main supply and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck in late January.

He was fined $500 for violating motor fuel tax requirements – specifically, concealing and storing motor fuel on which taxes were unpaid and intending to use it to operate a vehicle on public roadways. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

June 14

Ledy M. Izquierdo Castillo, 29, and Jesus Hernandez Dominguez, 39, both of San Antonio, were arrested for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain 51 gallons of diesel fuel at a San Antonio convenience store.

Castillo pumped the fuel into an auxiliary tank in his pickup truck while Dominguez acted as a lookout, according to investigators. Both suspects are charged with motor fuel tax evasion for not paying the applicable backup tax and with transporting motor fuel without shipping documents. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

San Antonio police assisted CID in the investigation, during which officers confiscated 84 “cloned” charge cards. The case is pending prosecution in Bexar County.

June 12

Raunel Pinero-Dieguez, 44, and Raul Silva Perez, 47, both of San Antonio, were arrested for using re-encoded charge cards to obtain 114 gallons of diesel fuel worth $160 and pumping it into an auxiliary tank in the bed of a pickup truck.

They were apprehended soon after allegedly being observed making two unlawful transactions (reportedly following several unsuccessful attempts) at an unattended, automated “cardlock” fueling facility for commercial fleet vehicles in San Antonio.

Both suspects are charged with motor fuel tax evasion for not paying the applicable backup tax and with transporting motor fuel without shipping documents. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

San Antonio police assisted CID in the investigation, during which officers confiscated eight “cloned” credit and debit cards concealed in a pack of cigarettes. The cases are pending prosecution in Bexar County.

June 4

Yosbel Plous-Sanchez, 32, of Austin was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain 94 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $119 from a New Braunfels truck stop.

The suspect reportedly pumped the fuel into an auxiliary tank concealed inside a toolbox in the bed of his pickup truck. Investigators discovered pumps and hoses in the truck and confiscated 25 “cloned” charge cards.

For not paying the applicable backup tax, Plous-Sanchez is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

New Braunfels authorities also have charged him with two counts of credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years, and fraudulent use and possession of fewer than 50 items of identifying information, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Comal County.


May 2018

May 31

Fredricke Deon Espy Jr., 26, of Amarillo was arrested by CID officers for allegedly possessing and selling cigars and other tobacco products without a state permit.

During a compliance inspection last December, investigators seized the unlawful merchandise at Sir’s Smoke Shop in Amarillo. A judge issued arrest warrants May 9.

The three pending charges – receipt and possession, sales, not possessing or posting a permit – are Class A misdemeanors. Each offense is punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Potter County.

May 29

Louis McClinton, 37, of Cedar Hill was arrested for allegedly falsifying vehicle titles in 2016.

McClinton, owner of Mach 1 Motors in Lancaster, is accused of altering trade-in values on a vehicle title application in order to reduce or eliminate his state motor vehicle sales tax liability.

He is charged with a total of nine counts of providing false title information and forgery. Each offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Carlos Albert Viera-Rodriguez, 34, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using stolen, re-encoded credit and debit cards in April 2017 to unlawfully obtain more than 330 gallons of diesel fuel from a Caldwell convenience store and pumping it into the fuel “saddle tanks” of semi-tractor truck to avoid paying backup tax.

He is charged with one count of motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, and three counts credit/debit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

CID assisted the Caldwell Police Department in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Burleson County.

Jorge Luis Rignak Pena, 24, of Katy was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card in April to obtain almost 58 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 from a truck stop in Katy by pumping it into an auxiliary fuel “bladder” of a pickup truck.

Pena is charged with motor fuel tax evasion – failing to pay the backup tax – a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

May 22

Maikel Orlans Abad Suarez, 38, of Pasadena was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card in April to unlawfully obtain more than 31 gallons of diesel fuel worth $85 from a Pasadena service station by pumping it into an auxiliary “bladder” concealed inside his sport-utility vehicle.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Sadier Aldazabal-Castillo, 33, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to unlawfully pump diesel fuel into a “bladder” concealed in the bed of a vehicle modified to function as a fuel transporter.

Aldazabal-Castillo is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Ariel Paumier Reyes, 37, and Oliveros Romero Reynaldo (aka Reynaldo Oliveros-Romero),29, both of Houston, were indicted for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards at a Houston gas station to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel.

They were arrested May 10 on suspicion of using a box truck modified to store and dispense fuel using a concealed “bladder” and an auxiliary pump and nozzles connected to the main supply tank.

Each co-defendant is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The cases are pending prosecution in Harris County.

Adrian Yordanys Pita, 33, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain approximately 101 gallons of diesel fuel pumped into a vehicle outside a Houston-area service station in February.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Last November, Yordanys Pita pleaded guilty in a Fort Bend County district court and was sentenced to 330 days in jail for using a specially modified cargo van to steal diesel fuel. A separate motor fuel tax evasion case was dismissed in the plea agreement.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Mark Anthony Juarez Jr., 35, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain and transport large quantities of diesel fuel from service stations in north and northwest Houston.

Juarez is charged with transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Officers reportedly confiscated 10 “cloned” cards and a firearm from the defendant’s vehicle. One of the cards’ owners had recognized the suspect and followed him from one station to another until police arrived.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

May 20

Rafael Luis Quintero, 22, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using one of 76 re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel pumped into a tank concealed in his van.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The fuel tax fraud case is pending prosecution in Harris County. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is handling the credit card fraud case.

May 9

Ronda Gay Smith, 50, of Seagoville was arrested for allegedly selling untaxed tobacco at her store in Seagoville.

During an inspection of the Pink Pig Smoke Shop, CID investigators seized pipe tobacco that invoices showed was purchased from out-of-state sources. Texas state tax well in excess of $50 had not been paid, according to reports.

Smith is charged with possession of tobacco products on which more than $50 in taxes are due, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Juan Arturo Cruz Leyva, 44, of Tampa, Fla. pleaded guilty in an Ector County district court to transporting motor fuel without proper documentation in 2016.

He was sentenced to four years’ deferred adjudication (no final conviction), 240 hours of community service and a $2,000 fine plus fees and court costs for. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

A separate charge accusing him of engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for five to 99 years or life and a fine of up to $10,000, was dropped.

Leyva and three accomplices allegedly used re-encoded gift cards to obtain and conceal diesel fuel in auxiliary tanks of their pickup trucks for sale to truckers.

May 3

Elder Boney Ramirez Jimenez, 45, an El Paso car dealer, was arrested for allegedly falsifying temporary dealer tags in order to conduct business because his state license had expired.

CID investigators discovered the altered documents during a tax inspection of Boney Auto Sales in El Paso on May 1.

Jimenez is charged with tampering with a governmental record, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in El Paso County.

May 2

Alexei Diaz Gonzalez, 42, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court to concealing motor fuel and was sentenced to 240 days in jail.

The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both. Prosecutors reduced the original charge of motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Katy police arrested Gonzalez last November and accused him of using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 24 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $60.

May 1

Dilip Bansilal Mahta, 54, of Rockwall pleaded guilty in a Hunt County district court to possessing tobacco on which less than $50 in taxes were due.

He was granted deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and sentenced to two years’ probation, 100 hours of community service and a $2,500 fine, plus restitution and court costs.

Mahta allegedly sold illicit pipe tobacco at his Quinlan convenience store last September for slightly more than the amount of the applicable but unpaid state tax.

Prosecutors reduced the original charge of possessing tobacco products on which more than $50 in taxes are due, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. In his plea agreement, Mahta admitted to a lesser included offense, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.


April 2018

April 27

Mark Anthony Juarez Jr., 35, of Houston was arrested after a brief chase for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain and transport large quantities of diesel fuel from service stations in north and northwest Houston.

The owner of the credit card used in the crime recognized the suspect from a surveillance photograph and followed him from one of the stations until police arrived, according to reports. Officers confiscated 10 “cloned” cards and a firearm from the suspect’s vehicle.

Juarez is charged with transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The Houston Police Department (HPD) has brought additional felony charges against Juarez.

CID assisted HPD in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

April 11

Randall Lawrence Callan, 59, of Roby pleaded guilty in a Howard County district court to motor fuel tax evasion and was sentenced to four years’ deferred adjudication (no final conviction), 300 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine, plus fees and court costs.

He admitted to buying misappropriated diesel fuel from a co-defendant, a fuel delivery truck driver who sold part of a bulk load of diesel fuel destined for a fuel station. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

April 10

Maikel Orlans Abad Suarez, 38, of Pasadena was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 31 gallons of diesel fuel worth $85 from a Pasadena service station and pumped into an auxiliary bladder concealed inside his sport utility vehicle.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County. A related case filed by the Pasadena Police Department alleging credit card abuse also is pending.

April 9

Santos Del Pozo Rodriguez, 55, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Burleson County district court to attempting to transport motor fuel without shipping documents in April 2017. He was sentenced to four years’ deferred adjudication (no final conviction), fined $1,500 and assessed court costs.

The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine because it is one category lower than the attempted offense. The original charge of transporting motor fuel without a valid shipping document is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. In the plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed a related charge of motor fuel tax evasion, also a second-degree felony.

Rodriguez and a co-defendant were arrested last spring for allegedly using one of eight “cloned” credit and debit cards to obtain almost 42 gallons of diesel fuel worth $100 from a Caldwell convenience store. Evidence showed that the suspects’ pickup truck contained a 300-gallon auxiliary tank in its bed concealed by wooden panels and a tire.

April 6

Armando Carmona, 54, of Harlingen was arrested for allegedly having approximately 900 gallons of dyed diesel fuel in the supply and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck unlawfully in November.

He is charged with transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

The case is pending prosecution in Cameron County.

April 5

Jorge Luis Rignak Pena, 24, of Katy was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to obtain almost 58 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 from a truck stop in Katy.

A store employee observed the suspect pumping diesel fuel directly into an auxiliary bladder concealed in the bed of a pickup truck.

Pena is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. A related credit card abuse case filed by the Katy Police Department (KPD) also is pending.

CID assisted the KPD in the tax evasion investigation. Both cases are pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

April 4

Edwin King Quan, 54, of Terrell pleaded guilty in a Kaufman County court-at-law to possessing a coin-operated machine without a license.

He was sentenced to nine months’ deferred adjudication (no final conviction), a $1,500 fine and 20 hours of community service.

The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

April 2

Marcus Eugene ONeal, 43, of Madisonville was indicted for allegedly acquiring dyed diesel fuel and then using it in a truck tractor’s “saddle tanks” while operating on a state highway in May 2017.

He is charged with furnishing a fuel supplier a signed statement (dyed diesel permit) issued for his construction business and using the fuel in a vehicle unlawfully. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Madison County.

April 1

Sadier Aldazabal-Castillo, 33, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to unlawfully pump diesel fuel into a bladder concealed in the bed of his vehicle.

The vehicle was modified to function as a fuel transporter and dispenser, according to reports. Several re-encoded gift cards were confiscated, including the one allegedly used in the crime.

Aldazabal-Castillo is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

January to March

March 2018


March 29

Randall Lee McNeil Jr., 25, of Raleigh, Miss. pleaded no contest in a Midland County court-at-law and was fined $750 for concealing 81 gallons of red dyed diesel (RDD) in his pickup truck's main supply and auxiliary tanks in January.

McNeil claimed to have bought the RDD in Mississippi en route to an oil rig in Midland County. In Texas, non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

Obtaining, holding for use and/or using fuel unlawfully is a violation of motor fuel tax law requirements. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.


March 27

Jose Alberto Morgado Nunez, 47, of Austin was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment, probated for 8 years; a $2,000 fine; $51 restitution and 320 hours of community service for unlawfully acquiring more than 100 gallons of diesel fuel worth $250 using re-encoded gift cards that he attempted to destroy and dispose of when stopped. He also was sentenced concurrently to two years in state jail, probated for five years, for misusing the cards.

In February, Nunez pleaded guilty in a Travis County district court to evading motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; tampering with physical evidence, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; and credit/debit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

Two other pending charges were dismissed in the plea agreement.


March 26

Thu Linh Le, 34, of Odessa pleaded guilty in an Ector County district court to fraudulently obtaining a coin-operated machine license and was sentenced to four years' probation, a $500 fine and 240 hours of community service.

Le recruited an individual to falsify and submit an application to the Comptroller's Office for a coin-operated machine general business license by substituting her name and Social Security number in place of Le's, thereby misrepresenting herself as the owner of a game room actually owned by Le.

Obtaining a coin-operated machine license by fraud is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.


March 15

Pedro B. Vasquez Jr., 38, of Fort Stockton pleaded no contest in a Midland County court-at-law and was fined $750 for concealing approximately 33 gallons of red dyed diesel (RDD) fuel in the main and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck.

Concealing motor fuel is a violation of motor fuel tax law requirements. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

Vasquez allegedly obtained the RDD unlawfully from an oil rig fuel storage tank.


March 7

Ernesto Jesus Izaguirre-Rodriguez, 26, of Austin was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 74 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $200 from a Pflugerville convenience store.

Undercover CID officers observed the suspect pumping diesel fuel into the side fuel door of a pickup truck fitted with a bed cover. Investigators discovered a large diesel fuel tank concealed under the cover in the truck bed and equipped with a reverse system to pump the fuel into the concealed tank without removing the cover. A subsequent search during the arrest yielded several “cloned” credit and debit cards.

Izaguirre-Rodriguez is charged with evading motor fuel tax by not having paid the backup tax for the purpose of reselling the stolen diesel fuel. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.


Yurian Julio Ramirez, 27, of Miami, Fla. was indicted for operating a vehicle modified to transport large amounts of stolen diesel fuel without a license.

He is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a motor fuel transporter's license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Ramirez was stopped in November by a Katy police officer on suspicion of credit card abuse.

CID assisted in the investigation of the fuel case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County


Alexei Diaz Gonzalez, 42, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a Katy convenience store in November.

He is charged with evading motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Katy police observed the suspect purchasing fuel with “cloned” cards and notified CID for assistance in the investigation. Gonzalez also is charged with credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

Both cases are pending prosecution in Harris County.


February 2018


Feb. 28

Robert Wayne Reaves, 49, of Wills Point was indicted in January for allegedly scheming to resell untaxed pipe tobacco purchased online from out of state without paying substantial amounts of Texas tobacco tax.

Investigators reported finding more than 1,600 ounces of illicit tobacco at Reaves' tobacco shop in Terrell in late September. He is charged with possessing tobacco products on which more than $50 in taxes are due, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Kaufman County.


Feb. 26

Osvaldo Efren Dominguez Torres, 28, of Georgetown was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to unlawfully pump more than 56 gallons of diesel fuel worth approximately $150 into an auxiliary tank concealed under a cover in the bed of his pickup truck at a convenience store near Liberty Hill.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, and credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

The case is pending prosecution in Williamson County.


Feb. 24

Adrian Yordanys-Pita, 32, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain approximately 101 gallons of diesel fuel pumped into a vehicle outside a Houston-area store.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

In November, Yordanys-Pita pleaded guilty in a Fort Bend County district court to using a specially modified cargo van to steal diesel fuel and was sentenced to 330 days in jail. He was convicted of unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the van modified to store stolen fuel), a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

In the plea bargain, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a separate motor fuel tax evasion case alleging that Yordanys-Pita transported and intended to sell approximately 300 gallons of illegally obtained diesel fuel and failed to pay the backup tax. That offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

CID assisted the Houston Police Department in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.


Feb. 23

Duane M. Lopez, 39, of Stanton was arrested for allegedly stealing dyed diesel fuel on multiple occasions from a farm storage tank and delivering it into the internal supply tank of his pickup truck, which he then drove on a state highway.

He is charged with delivering dyed diesel fuel into a motor vehicle for use on a public highway, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

CID assisted the Martin County Sheriff's Office in the on-going fuel theft investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Martin County.


Feb. 22

Danny Lee Allen, 61, and his son, Jonathan Daniel Allen, 36, both of Cleburne, were indicted for allegedly buying dyed diesel fuel unlawfully and using it in their personal tractor-trailer rigs to haul aggregate for a Denton company.

The fuel allegedly was obtained on multiple occasions from late November through December 2016 at an unattended fuel station owned by a Cleburne oil and gas wholesaler. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

The Allens each are charged with motor fuel tax evasion and purchasing motor fuel with intent to evade taxes, both second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000; and with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without the requisite permit, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Johnson County.


Feb. 15

Ranvir Singh, 46, of Corinth was arrested for allegedly possessing more than 6,300 ounces of loose tobacco on which several thousand dollars in taxes had not been paid.

Singh is charged with possessing tobacco on which more than $50 in taxes are owed, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Evidence shows that the tobacco apparently had been purchased from an out-of-state distributor for resale at Singh's tobacco and gift shop in Lake Dallas.

He also is charged with storing 15 coin-operated amusement machines on the premises without a license or registration certificate, 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 Denton County.


Feb. 14

Jose Andres Aguilera-Rojas, 62, of Austin was indicted for unlawfully obtaining approximately 150 gallons of diesel fuel in March 2017 without paying tax.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, 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 Comal County.


Feb. 1

Israel Lara, 34, of Pecos pleaded guilty in a Reeves County district court to violating motor fuel tax requirements by unlawfully obtaining and concealing dyed diesel fuel in an auxiliary tank in the bed of his pickup truck last May and by storing it illegally in a drum and various equipment on his property.

Lara was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment probated for six years, a $1,500 fine, $180 in restitution and 250 hours of community service. He was credited with 228 days' jail time served. He had been charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.


Monir Saeb Kutob, 30, of Troup pleaded guilty last August in a Rusk County district court to unlawful operation of amusement machines at a business in Selman City and was fined $1,500 plus court costs.

Kutob had been charged with operating amusement machines without a license or registration certificate, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.


January 2018


Jan. 31, 2018

Alexander Tamayo-Cabrera, 30, of Austin was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded gift card to unlawfully obtain approximately 105 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $264 from a North Austin convenience store last September and concealing it in an auxiliary tank hidden in the bed of his pickup truck.

Tamayo Cabrera is charged with transporting motor fuel without a shipping document and evading motor fuel tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; and with tampering with physical evidence, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

He also was indicted for evading arrest in a motor vehicle and assaulting a public servant, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The defendant reportedly sped away when confronted by a Comptroller investigator who was thrown to the ground after stepping on the truck's running board to avoid being pinned between the fleeing vehicle and a fuel pump. Tamayo-Cabrera also allegedly threw “cloned” cards out the driver's side window.

Austin Police Department (APD) officers assisted CID in apprehending the suspect. The APD investigated the cases of assault on a peace officer and evading arrest in a motor vehicle; CID investigated the cases of motor fuel tax fraud and evidence tampering. All the cases are pending prosecution in Travis County.


Jan. 30, 2018

Adrian Yordanys-Pita , 32, of Houston pleaded guilty in November in a Fort Bend County district court to using a specially modified cargo van to steal diesel fuel and was sentenced to 330 days in jail.

He was convicted of unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the van modified to store stolen fuel), a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

In the plea bargain, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a separate motor fuel tax evasion case alleging that Yordanys-Pita transported and intended to sell approximately 300 gallons of illegally obtained diesel fuel and failed to pay the backup tax. That offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.


Yuri Columbie, 34, of Houston pleaded guilty in October in a Harris County district court to using a credit card without authorization to unlawfully obtain 105 gallons of diesel fuel last April. He was sentenced to four years' probation and ordered to pay $700 restitution plus court and other related costs.

Columbie received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) for credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years. A separate charge of motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000, was dismissed in the plea bargain.


Jan. 25, 2018

Warren Raymond Nugent, 58, a Dallas concrete contractor, was arrested for allegedly obtaining and using dyed diesel fuel in a company-owned vehicle unlawfully and failing to pay taxes due.

Frisco police stopped Nugent's truck in November for equipment violations and impounded it. Officers found red dyed diesel (RDD) in the “sidesaddle” motor fuel supply tanks. Subsequent investigation revealed RDD purchases from two fuel companies under a signed statement on file that the fuel would not be used to operate motor vehicles on public roadways. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

Nugent is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and purchasing motor fuel with intent to evade tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with using dyed diesel fuel on a public roadway despite having submitted a signed statement to the contrary, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The CID assisted the Frisco Police Department in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Collin County.


Raul Sanchez, 33, of Rowlett and Alonso Arzola-Gomez, 30, of Hobbs, N.M. were arrested for allegedly obtaining, holding for use and using red dyed diesel (RDD) fuel unlawfully.

Sanchez is accused of hiding approximately 44 gallons of RDD in the main supply and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck. The fuel allegedly came from a tank at his employer's pipeline construction company yard in Big Spring.

Arzola-Gomez is accused of hiding a total of more than 70 gallons of RDD in the main supply and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck the day before his arrest.

Each suspect is charged with concealing motor fuel, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

Both cases are pending prosecution in Martin County.


Jan. 24, 2018

Pedro B. Vasquez Jr., 38, of Fort Stockton; Terry Allen Watkins, 31, of Panama, Okla.; Stephen Olen Heflin, 40, of Talihina, Okla. and Randall Lee McNeil, 24, of Raleigh, Miss. were arrested for allegedly obtaining, holding for use and using red dyed diesel (RDD) fuel unlawfully.

Vasquez is accused of taking an unspecified amount of RDD from an oil rig fuel storage tank in Midland County and hiding approximately 33 gallons in the main and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck. Watkins is accused of hiding approximately 10 gallons in the main and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck operated near Midland.

Heflin allegedly had someone else put approximately 64 gallons of RDD in the main supply and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck the day before his arrest in Midland County. McNeil claimed to have bought the 81 gallons found in his pickup truck's main supply and auxiliary tanks in Mississippi en route to an oil rig in Midland County.

Each suspect is charged with concealing motor fuel, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

All four cases are pending prosecution in Midland County.


Rubber Guerra Rios, 31, of Austin was indicted for allegedly using a cloned credit card to unlawfully obtain 98 gallons of diesel fuel worth $212 from an Austin gas station and putting it into the auxiliary tank of a pickup truck in June of 2017.

He is charged with transporting motor fuel without proper documentation and motor fuel tax evasion. Each 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 Travis County.


Jan. 23, 2018

Kenny Wayne Holcombe, 32, of Gonzales and Robert Perez-Ramirez, 37, of Palestine were arrested for allegedly obtaining, holding for use and using red dyed diesel (RDD) fuel unlawfully.

Holcombe is accused of hiding approximately 115 gallons in the main supply and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck. The RDD allegedly was taken from an oil rig fuel supply in Howard County.

Perez-Ramirez is accused of hiding approximately 55 gallons of RDD in the main supply and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck being operated in North Howard County.

Each suspect is charged with concealing motor fuel, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

Both cases are pending prosecution in Howard County.


Jan. 18, 2018

Yulier Tamayo-Benitez, 34, of Austin, pleaded guilty in a Williamson County district court to using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully acquire 177 gallons of diesel fuel worth $400 last March and dispensing it into an auxiliary tank in his pickup truck.

He received four years' deferred adjudication (no final conviction), 96 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine for credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

A related motor fuel tax evasion case alleging transportation of fuel without proper documentation was dismissed in the plea bargain. That offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.


Angel Machado Sotolongo, 25, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using an unlawfully obtained credit card to buy diesel fuel at a Baytown truck stop in September without paying backup tax.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. He also faces a credit card abuse charge in connection with the incident.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

2017

October to December

December 2017

Dec. 28, 2017

Julio Ibarra Regalon, 38, of Houston pleaded guilty Dec. 12, 2017 in state district court to failure to pay backup motor fuel taxes on fraudulent purchases made at three Houston gas stations in March.

He was granted deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and sentenced to four years’ community supervision, fined $500 and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service and pay $1,600 restitution to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

Regalon was indicted Dec. 6 for motor fuels tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. He was charged with unlawfully obtaining more than 170 gallons of diesel fuel using information stolen from a USPS fleet credit card. The fuel was stored in two plastic, 250-gallon bladders concealed inside a van.

CID assisted the U.S. Postal Inspection Service with the investigation, aided by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted in Harris County.

Dec. 27, 2017

Enmanuel Sierra Perez, 22, of Cleveland, Texas has pleaded guilty to theft for using one of 23 re-encoded gift cards to unlawfully dispense diesel fuel from the pumps at a discount department store into a 200-gallon auxiliary tank in the bed of a truck.

He was granted deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and sentenced in state district court to two years’ community supervision plus fees and court costs.

Perez had been charged earlier in 2017 with transporting motor fuel without proper shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. He was convicted of the lesser included offense of theft of property, a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2,000.

The case was prosecuted in Harris County.

Dec. 20, 2017

Maaz M. Moonis, 31, of Cleveland, Texas was indicted for unlawfully transporting untaxed tobacco products without required documentation to a Kirbyville tobacco store in 2015.

He is charged with a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Jasper County.

Rodrigo Ramos Guerrero, 41, of Fort Worth and Gabriel Monroy Corona, 25, Juan Carlos Chavira Carranza, 47, and Luis Miguel Ramos Moreno, 33, all of Kermit, were arrested for allegedly using a company credit card to unlawfully obtain numerous gallons of diesel fuel from a Kermit gas station.

On Dec. 19, CID investigators observed members of the foursome dispensing diesel into an auxiliary tank in the bed of a pickup truck. The fuel was transferred soon afterward into a welding truck at a recreational vehicle park in Kermit.

All four suspects are charged with motor fuel tax evasion. Guerrero also is charged with transporting motor fuel without proper shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Winkler County.

Dec. 15, 2017

Angel Machado Sotolongo, 25, of Houston is accused of allegedly using an unlawfully obtained credit card to buy diesel fuel at a Baytown truck stop in September without paying back-up tax.

He is charged with motor fuels tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. He also faces a credit card abuse charge in connection with the incident.

Sotolongo was arrested Dec. 11 in Baytown on an outstanding warrant.

A CID investigator assisted Baytown police with the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.


Reynier Dominguez Alvarez, 30, of Katy was indicted for fraudulently purchasing diesel fuel at a Katy truck stop in late October without paying tax.

He is charged with motor fuels tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. He also faces a credit card abuse charge in connection with the incident.

A CID investigator assisted Katy police with the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Dec. 14, 2017

Antonio Ledaryl Kirkland, 29, of Big Spring was arrested Jan. 2 for allegedly defrauding a car buyer out of $10,000 last May by misrepresenting his ownership of the vehicle and providing a title to a different auto.

Evidence shows that a Florida finance company holds the title and a lien on the 2009 BMW that was sold. It is being repossessed due to missed payments.

Kirkland is charged with fraudulent transfer of a motor vehicle and theft of property, both valued at less than $30,000. Each offense is a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

The case is pending prosecution in Howard County.

Dec. 5, 2017

Alfredo Bardaji, 49, of Lewisville was arrested for allegedly receiving into his semi-tractor truck $500 worth of diesel fuel fraudulently obtained last May from a Carrollton propane company without paying back-up tax.

He is charged with motor fuels tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

A CID investigator assisted Carrollton police with the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Angel Ramon Batista Rodriguez, 29, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly using a stolen credit card at an Irving gas station last July to obtain more than $220 worth of diesel fuel without paying back-up tax. It was pumped into an auxiliary tank mounted in the bed of a pickup truck.

He is charged with motor fuels tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

A CID investigator assisted Carrollton police with the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

November 2017

Nov. 30, 2017

Deborah Guillory Harris, 55, of Houston was indicted for allegedly falsifying a vehicle title application.

Harris, who does business as Success Auto, is charged with tampering with a government record. The offense is a-second-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Her indictment was the culmination of an 18-month investigation prompted by a complaint from the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office in January 2016.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Alejandro Vega-Torres, 34, of Hialeah, Fla. and Jorge Manual Batista-Gonzalez, 38, of Odessa were sentenced in mid-November of using dozens of re-encoded credit cards to steal large quantities of diesel fuel for resale.

Both defendants were sentenced to a year in federal prison and three years’ probation (non-reporting supervision). A separate felony fraud charge pending against each of them was dismissed in the plea agreements.

Vega-Torres and Batista-Gonzalez are the last of 10 members of a Cuban theft ring to be convicted in U.S. District Court in Midland on federal fraud and conspiracy charges.

Four members of the ring, all of Tampa, Fla., were sentenced in September and received sentences ranging from a year’s imprisonment to three years’ non-reporting probation. In October, four other co-defendants were sentenced and received sentences ranging from 10 to 18 months in prison, plus three years’ non-reporting probation.

All the defendants also were ordered to pay restitution equally among themselves of almost $47,000, plus special individual assessments of $100 apiece.

These individuals were prosecuted by the U. S. Attorney’s office in the Western District of Texas. The FBI’s Permian Basin Oilfield Theft Task Force assisted CID with the investigation.

Robert Wayne Reaves, 48, of Wills Point was arrested for allegedly possessing and reselling untaxed pipe tobacco purchased online from out of state without paying substantial amounts of Texas tobacco tax.

Investigators reported finding more than 1,600 ounces of illicit tobacco at a retail location in Terrell in late September. He is charged with possessing tobacco products on which more than $50 in taxes are due, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine .

The case is pending prosecution in Kaufman County.

Carlos Miranda, 49, of Cleveland, Texas was indicted in mid-November for allegedly using a re-encoded gift card to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel at service stations in Caldwell in March.
The indictments charge Miranda with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without proper shipping documents. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID assisted the Caldwell Police Department in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Burleson County.

Oscar David Alderete-Ortiz, 39, of Denver City was convicted of obtaining approximately 100 gallons of diesel fuel without paying tax in late March.

He received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and was sentenced to six years’ probation, a $6,000 fine, almost $6,100 in restitution and court costs.

Alderete-Ortiz pleaded guilty to motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The second case, engaging in a motor fuel transaction without having a motor fuel transporter’s license was adjudicated pursuant to Penal Code section 12.45

The case was prosecuted in Yoakum County.

Nov. 27, 2017

Danny Everett Jenkins, 60, of Satin was convicted in early November of unlawfully using red-dye diesel by means of storing the fuel in a 55-gallon drum in the back of his pickup truck and using the untaxed diesel in his motor fuel supply tank, as well as possessing a small amount of meth (aka "speed").

He pleaded guilty to motor fuel tax evasion and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction). He was sentenced to five years’ community supervision and fined $1,500. He also pleaded guilty to controlled substance possession. His 730-day sentence was suspended in lieu of four years’ probation, and he was fined $180.

Evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Dyed diesel fuel is untaxed diesel fuel for off-road use only and may not be used in vehicles operated on public roadways.

Possessing less than a gram of methamphetamine is a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years. The Texas Highway Patrol investigated the drug possession case and contacted CID for assistance on the discovery of the motor fuel tax fraud incident.

The case was prosecuted in Tom Green County.

Billy Gerald Hill, 74, of Edinburg, was indicted in early November for allegedly stealing several thousands of dollars in motor vehicle taxes collected and misappropriating several thousands of dollars in title and registration fees collected.

The two-count indictment charges the motor vehicle dealer with failing to remit more than $20,000 but less than $100,000 in taxes collected on 67 vehicles sold in 2016 and 2017. The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

He also is charged with misapplication of fiduciary property for withholding more than $2,500 but less than $30,000 in fees. That offense is a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

The case is pending prosecution in Hidalgo County.

Nov. 21, 2017

Dilip Mahta, 53, of Rockwall was arrested in late November for allegedly possessing and selling illicit pipe tobacco at his Quinlan convenience store for slightly more than the amount of the applicable but unpaid state tax.

He is charged with possessing tobacco products on which more than $50 in taxes are due, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Proper invoices showing payment of tobacco tax were not provided, according to investigators.

The case is pending prosecution in Hunt County.

Nov. 13, 2017

Hector Suarez, 68, of Fort Stockton, a former Pecos County deputy tax assessor-collector, pleaded guilty to stealing almost $35,000 in motor vehicle sales tax payments over two years using falsified vehicle title applications.

He received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and was sentenced in state district court to three years’ probation and 200 hours of community service. He also was ordered to pay court costs and $38,800 in restitution, of which $30,000 has been paid.

Suarez, who supervised the office’s motor vehicle tax section, pleaded guilty to all eight counts of tampering with a government record with intent to defraud or harm another , a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; and to one count of theft by a public servant of more than $2,500 but less than $30,000, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case was investigated jointly by the Texas Rangers and CID and prosecuted in Pecos County.

Nov. 9, 2017

Ahmad Ali Hasan, 54, of Carrollton was arrested for allegedly possessing illicit hookah tobacco at his non-permitted wholesale business in Dallas in June.

Hasan is charged with two tobacco products tax law violations alleging illegal possession and books & records violations. Each of them are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Back taxes well in excess of $50 were due, and investigators allege no valid invoices for purchase of the tobacco were produced.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Nov. 7, 2017

Mui Thi Doan, 61, of Arlington was arrested for allegedly possessing 11 packs of illicit imported cigarettes at her restaurant and failing to produce valid invoices for their purchase.

She is charged with two tobacco products tax law violations: books & records, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; and possessing 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 case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

October 2017

Oct. 31, 2017

Nizar Noorali Raiyyani, 42, of Carrollton was sentenced in mid-September to 90 days in jail for operating an eight-liner machine without a license in February and lying to a state police investigator who was investigating the machine and its location.

The unlicensed device, similar to an electronic slot machine, was located in the "Lucky4Lucky" game room in Dallas. Raiyyani misled CID officers about the ownership of the business as well as some of the machines.

Raiyyani pleaded no contest and was convicted of operating a coin-operated amusement machine without a license, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both; and of making a false statement to a peace officer, a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,000 or both. He received 38 days’ credit for jail time served.

The case was prosecuted in Dallas County.

Oct. 27, 2017

Daniel Lee Allen, 61, of Cleburne was arrested for allegedly using his son’s employer's company credit card to make several unlicensed purchases of dyed diesel fuel for a tractor truck in late 2016. Dyed diesel is nontaxable only for off-road or agricultural use by permit-holders.

Allen and his son, Jonathan Daniel Allen, 36, also of Cleburne, are each charged with motor fuel tax evasion and purchasing fuel with intent to evade tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. They also are charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit, 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.

Oct. 26, 2017

Former lawman Michael Saavedra, 37, of El Paso pleaded guilty to 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.

The former Anthony police officer and association president was sentenced in state district court to 90 days in jail, five years’ probation and 250 hours of community service. He was ordered to pay $724 in court costs and restitution in an amount yet to be determined.

Saavedra received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) for two felony offenses: theft of property and misapplying fiduciary/financial property, both valued at more than $1,500 but less than $20,000. Each crime was punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

The case was investigated jointly by the Texas Rangers and CID and prosecuted in El Paso County.

Oct. 24, 2017

Yoandi Emiliano Quezada Valdez, 33, of Dallas was arrested on charges of using another person’s credit card last August to acquire more than 78 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $184 from a fuel business in order to avoid paying tax.

Valdez is one of two suspects alleged to have pumped diesel into a tank in the bed of his pickup truck, which investigators say is not a diesel-powered vehicle.

He is charged with two counts of purchasing motor fuel with intent to evade tax, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

CID is assisting the Carrollton Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending in Dallas County.

Cody Raymond-Michael Johnson, 27, of Caddo Mills was indicted for lying on a vehicle title application by understating its purchase price.

The owner of Big City Auto Sales allegedly entered incorrect information on applications for two of eight vehicles purchased from his dealership by a communications company.

Johnson is charged with falsifying a vehicle title application, 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 Rockwall County.

Oct. 23, 2017

Luis Ochoa Cabrera, 57, of Seguin pleaded guilty in September to motor fuel tax evasion and was sentenced last month to five years’ deferred adjudication (no final conviction), 200 hours of community service and ordered to pay a $1,500 fine, $353 in court costs and restitution in an amount yet to be determined.

Cabrera admitted to evading motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He used re-encoded credit cards to illegally acquire approximately 59 gallons of diesel fuel from a Pflugerville convenience store in 2016.

The case was prosecuted in Travis County.

Yonar Bello Lopez, 33, of Austin pleaded guilty to motor fuel tax evasion and was sentenced to eight years’ probation, 300 hours of community service and a $2,000 fine.

The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Lopez was arrested in August for using a re-encoded charge card to pump approximately 60 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 into an auxiliary tank in the bed of a pickup truck at an Austin convenience store without paying backup motor fuels tax.

An additional charge of transporting motor fuel without proper documentation and/or licensing was dismissed in the plea agreement, along with a separate, similar indictment.

The case was prosecuted in Travis County.

Oct. 20, 2017

Four members of a Cuban theft ring were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Midland after previously pleading guilty to federal fraud and conspiracy charges for allegedly using dozens of re-encoded credit cards to steal large quantities of diesel fuel for resale.

Convicted of conspiring to fraudulently use an access device were Michel Sarmiento, 37, of Miami, Fla; Andy Cruz-Leyva, 46 of Tampa, Fla.; and Livan Sanchez, 39, of Odessa. Sandra Alva Escobar-Carballosa, 31, also of Odessa, was convicted of access device fraud.

Sarmiento and Cruz-Leyva each were sentenced to 13 months in federal prison. Sarmiento will serve his term concurrently with another sentence in a related state motor fuel tax fraud felony case. Sanchez received 18 months in federal prison and Escobar-Carballosa, 10 months. Subsequently, all four defendants will be on three years’ non-reporting supervised release.

The defendants also were ordered to pay restitution equally among themselves of almost $47,000, plus special $100 individual assessments.

A separate fraud charge pending against each defendant was dismissed in the plea agreement.

Four other members of the ring, all of Tampa, Fla., pleaded guilty in September and received sentences ranging from a year in federal prison to three years’ non-reporting probation.

Roger Marcelo Garcia Rodriguez, 31, of Houston pleaded guilty to using a re-encoded credit card to fraudulently obtain diesel fuel in April and was sentenced to 170 days in jail.

Rodriguez originally was indicted for evading motor fuel taxes by failing to pay backup tax on a transaction, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Based on Rodriguez’ cooperation with authorities, prosecutors reduced the charge to fraudulent use of identifying information, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years. He received 87 days’ credit for jail time served.

The case was prosecuted in Harris County.

Oct. 19, 2017

Lazaro Abreu-Aliaga, 53, of Austin pleaded guilty in September to credit card abuse and was sentenced in October to two years’ deferred adjudication (no final conviction), a $1,500 fine and 80 hours of community service.

The offense is punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Abreu-Aliaga was under indictment for motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without proper shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Those charges were dismissed in the plea agreement.

He was arrested in April for using re-encoded gift cards to illegally acquire diesel fuel. The case was prosecuted in Travis County.

Oct. 13, 2017

Naser A. Yacoub, 39, of Sherman pleaded guilty Oct. 13 to concealing and/or destroying shipping records related to untaxed tobacco products he had purchased in 2010.

Yacoub received three years’ deferred adjudication (no final conviction), a $500 fine and was ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution and perform 75 hours of community service. He could have been imprisoned for two to 10 years and fined up to $10,000 for the third-degree felony.

Four other felony charges against him were dismissed in the plea agreement accepted in state district court.

The case was prosecuted in Grayson County.

Oct. 2, 2017

Four members of a Cuban theft ring pleaded guilty September 15 in U.S. District Court in Midland to federal fraud and conspiracy charges for allegedly using dozens of re-encoded credit cards to steal large quantities of diesel fuel for resale.

Among those arrested in February in Midland are Juan Andelmo Bermudez, 47; Omero Lazaro Barbeito-Lastre, 44; Eduardo Tamayo-Pupo, 36; and Jose Angel Leyva-Oliva, 43, all of Tampa, Fla.

Bermudez and Tamayo-Pupo each were sentenced to a year in federal prison and Leyva-Oliva to six months in federal prison. Barbeito-Lastre to three years’ non-reporting probation. In addition, Bermudez and Tamayo-Pupo were sentenced to three years’ supervised release and Leyva-Oliva to three years’ non-reporting supervised release.

The defendants also were ordered to pay restitution equally among themselves of almost $47,000 plus special $100 individual assessments.

Oct. 1, 2017

Jesus Medeles-Jurado, 47, of San Elizario pleaded guilty September 21 to fraudulently using a stolen company gas card on several occasions to fuel his personal vehicle after quitting his job.

He was convicted in a Midland County district court of motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Under a plea agreement, Medeles-Jurado received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and was sentenced to 10 years’ probation, fined $1,000 plus court costs and 250 hours of community service.

July to September

Sep. 25, 2017

Thu Le, 34, of Odessa was indicted September 11 for allegedly using an accomplice to unlawfully obtain a license on her behalf for gaming machines known as "eight-liners."

The one-count indictment charges her with attempting to obtain a coin-operated machine license by fraud, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The co-defendant, who was on felony probation at the time of this offense, pleaded guilty earlier this year and was sentenced to prison for violating terms of her probation and for this offense.

The case is pending prosecution in Ector County.

Sep. 20, 2017

Danny Everett Jenkins, 60, of Satin was indicted September 7 for using a 55-gallon drum to unlawfully put dyed diesel fuel into the tank of his pickup truck. Dyed diesel may only be used tax free in off-road vehicles.

The two-count indictment charges Jenkins with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is accused of possessing less than a gram of methamphetamine, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

Department of Public Safety troopers discovered the use of the untaxed fuel and drugs during a traffic stop in May.

The case is pending prosecution in Tom Green County.

Sep. 14, 2017

Roberto Reinaldo Acosta, 24, of Odessa was arrested September 11 for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to unlawfully obtain more than 95 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $260 concealed in an auxiliary tank hidden in the bed of his pickup truck. Investigators believe he had 22 fraudulent debit/gift cards in his possession.

Andrews police apprehended the suspect at an Andrews convenience store and contacted CID for assistance in the investigation.

Acosta is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and fraudulent use of identifying information, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; and with credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

The case is pending prosecution in Andrews County.

Anier Gamboa Rodriguez, 27, of Austin was arrested September 13 for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain from more than 23 gallons of gasoline concealed in an auxiliary tank in the bed of his pickup truck at an Austin convenience store. Investigators reportedly found eight "cloned" credit and debit cards in his possession.

Rodriguez is charged with transporting motor fuel without a shipping document and evading motor fuel tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Sep. 13, 2017

Steven Cho, 25, of Coppell was arrested September 6 for allegedly operating 36 video game machines without a license or certificate at a Dallas game room. During an inspection, the suspect allegedly pushed a civilian Comptroller employee out of the business and locked the door, according to reports, but later allowed CID investigators to inspect the premises.

He is charged with violating a coin-operated amusement machine provision of the Texas Occupations Code, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

Dallas County Sheriff’s deputies assisted CID by transporting Cho to the county jail.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Sep. 12, 2017

Alexander Tamayo Cabrera, 29, of Austin was arrested September 11 for allegedly using a re-encoded gift card to unlawfully obtain approximately 105 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $264 from a North Austin convenience store and concealed it in an auxiliary tank hidden in the bed of his pickup truck.

The suspect reportedly sped away when confronted by a CID investigator, who was thrown to the ground after stepping on the truck’s running board to avoid being struck by the fleeing vehicle. A passenger said the suspect, who is employed delivering diesel fuel to truckers, threw "cloned" cards out the driver’s side window.

Tamayo Cabrera is charged with transporting motor fuel without a shipping document and evading motor fuel tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; and with tampering with physical evidence, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The Austin Police Department (APD) and the store’s loss prevention personnel assisted in the investigation. APD also charged Tamayo Cabrera with assaulting a public servant and evading arrest in a motor vehicle, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Sep. 8, 2017

Luis Castillo Fernandez, 32, of Austin pleaded guilty to attempted motor fuel tax evasion, a class B misdemeanor, for illegally acquiring almost 4 gallons of diesel fuel worth $6.70 with a fraudulently obtained, re-encoded credit card at a Pflugerville convenience store in April 2016. The store manager stopped the pump when he recognized the vehicle as belonging to a known fuel thief.

Under a plea agreement, Fernandez was convicted in a Travis County district court of a lesser charge included in his felony indictment, which was dismissed. He received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and was sentenced to two years’ probation, 80 hours of community service and fined $3,000 plus court costs.

Israel Lara, 34, of Pecos was indicted in late August for unlawfully acquiring, storing and concealing untaxed diesel fuel in May. It was contained in a 55-gallon drum, a 150-gallon tank, a welder and a generator. He allegedly did not have the requisite license or permits and failed to pay backup tax.

The one-count indictment charges Lara with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Reeves County.

Sep. 7, 2017

Jose Alberto Nunez-Morgado, 47, of Austin was indicted Aug. 30 for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to pump 89 gallons of diesel fuel worth $200 into an auxiliary tank in the bed of a pickup truck at an Austin convenience store in November 2016. Investigators reported that he threw six "cloned" credit and debit cards out of the vehicle during a traffic stop.

The four-count indictment charges him with transporting motor fuel without a shipping document and evading motor fuel tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; and with tampering with physical evidence, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also was indicted for credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Sep. 5, 2017

James Clayton Hunt, 55, of Granbury was arrested in late August for allegedly operating 13 coin-operated video game machines without a license or certificate in July at a hidden Fort Worth game room he owns.

He is charged with violating a coin-operated amusement machine provision of the Texas Occupations Code, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

The Fort Worth Police Department assisted in the investigation.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Aug. 31, 2017

Rito Salgado Jr., 35, of Midland was convicted Aug. 24 in a Midland County district court of motor fuels tax evasion and sentenced to three years’ probation, a $1,500 fine and 200 hours of community service.

He received deferred adjudication for pleading guilty to using a misappropriated gasoline card to unlawfully obtain fuel for two vehicles without paying taxes on March 8-14. The second-degree felony is punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Yusdel M. Lloret, 28, of Houston was indicted Aug. 23 on a charge of evading motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Lloret allegedly used a re-encoded ("cloned") credit card to obtain almost 41 gallons of diesel fuel pumped into a concealed auxiliary tank in the bed of his pickup truck. He also has been indicted for credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

Both cases are pending prosecution in Harris County.

Aug. 28, 2017

Luis Manuel Proenza Sanchez, 46, of Galveston pleaded guilty Aug. 24 in a Hidalgo County district court to engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license in November 2016. The investigation revealed that he unlawfully purchased diesel fuel on several occasions while using re-encoded ("cloned") credit cards.

Sanchez was sentenced to three years’ probation, a $500 fine plus court costs and 50 hours of community service. He received deferred adjudication for the third-degree felony, which is punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

A related, second-degree felony indictment alleging motor fuels tax evasion was dismissed in the plea bargain.

Aug. 23, 2017

Carlos Brun, 47, a San Antonio car dealer, was indicted July 17 for allegedly failing to remit between $20,000 and $100,000 in motor vehicle taxes and between $2,500 and $30,000 in title and registration fees collected on 105 vehicles sold by National Auto Credit between October 2015 and July 2016.

He is charged in two separate indictments with failure to remit motor vehicle tax collected, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, and misapplication of fiduciary property, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

The case is pending prosecution in Bexar County.

Aug. 16, 2017

Thomas Bret Jackson, 61, of Hawley pleaded guilty Aug. 8 in a Jones County district court to forgery and falsifying title documents for signing another person’s name as the seller on a vehicle title in 2015.

Jackson was sentenced to five years’ probation, fined $1,500 plus court costs and ordered to pay $4,500 in restitution to the victim. He also must perform 160 hours of community service. He could have received from two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine for the third-degree felony conviction.

A companion case alleging a similar offense was dropped in the plea bargain, as was a theft case. Jackson also had been accused of filing false title applications for vehicles sold through his car dealership in Hawley.

The case was prosecuted in Jones County.

Albert Martinez Barrera, 44, of Snyder was indicted Aug. 9 for unlawfully obtaining 700 gallons of diesel fuel in April from a motor fuels transportation company where he worked as a delivery truck driver. He allegedly withheld some diesel from delivery loads and sold it off site to third parties.

The two-count indictment charges Barrera with motor fuels tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without a license or shipping documents. Both offenses are second-degree felonies each punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Barrera allegedly committed this latest crime while under indictment for a previous charge to which he has since pleaded guilty.

The Texas Rangers and CID jointly investigated the case, assisted by staff of the defendant’s employer.

The case is pending prosecution in Sterling County.

Aug. 15, 2017

Yonar Bello-Lopez, 32, of Austin was arrested Aug. 8 for allegedly using a re-encoded ("cloned") charge card to pump approximately 60 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 into an auxiliary tank in the bed of a pickup truck at an Austin convenience store without paying backup motor fuels tax.

He is charged with motor fuels tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without proper documentation and/or licensing. Both offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

Records show that the suspect was arrested previously on similar charges.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Mohammad Sado Bassam Lulu, 29, and Mohammed Darwish Bassam Lulu, 30, both of El Paso, were indicted Aug. 2 and subsequently arrested for allegedly purchasing large amounts of tobacco products from an unlawful supplier in Illinois, dating back to 2014, thereby evading several thousands of dollars in Texas tobacco taxes. They also are accused of not maintaining accurate purchase records and filing a false and/or incomplete return or report with the Comptroller’s office this past March.

Both offenses – possession of tobacco products on which more than $50 in taxes are due and failure to keep books and records – are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The Illinois Department of Revenue alerted CID about a non-permitted tobacco distributor with whom the two brothers allegedly were doing business. The Texas Department of Public Safety’s Criminal Investigations Division assisted CID in the investigation.

The case is pending prosecution in El Paso County.

Aug. 10, 2017

Van Phat Le, 46, of Mansfield was arrested June 21 for allegedly moving several coin-operated amusement machines that he unlawfully owns to a storage facility in Arlington.

He is charged with two counts of operating coin-operated amusement machines without a license. Each offense is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

CID assisted the Arlington Police Department vice unit in the investigation.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Jose Alberto Nunez-Morgado, 47, and Jose Arnoldo Llanso Varona, 42, both of Austin, were arrested Aug. 9 for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to pump 89 gallons of diesel fuel worth $200 into an auxiliary tank in the bed of a pickup truck at an Austin convenience store to avoid paying backup motor fuels tax.

During a traffic stop, the suspects threw 17 "cloned" credit and debit cards out the passenger window of the vehicle, according to investigators. CID officers reportedly observed them earlier attempting to use some of the cards to acquire fuel at a service station in Bastrop County.

Both men are charged with motor fuels tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without proper documentation and/or licensing, both of which are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. They also are charged with tampering with physical evidence, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Records show that Nunez-Morgado was arrested previously on similar charges.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Jul. 27, 2017

Yusdel M. Lloret, 28, of Houston was indicted June 30 for allegedly using a "cloned" credit card to obtain almost 41 gallons of diesel fuel pumped into a concealed auxiliary tank in the bed of his pickup truck.

Lloret is charged with credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for from six months up to two years. He was also recently arrested on a charge of evading motor fuel tax by engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license and failing to pay the backup 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 Harris County.

Octavio Garcia, 41, of Houston pleaded guilty in June in a Harris County district court to class A misdemeanor theft. He received deferred adjudication and was sentenced to two years' probation and ordered to pay $1,250 restitution.

Garcia was accused of making unauthorized fuel deliveries without proper shipping documents and failing to pay motor fuels taxes in May 2016.

Jul. 13, 2017

Luis Manuel Proenza Sanchez, 45, of Galveston was indicted June 29 for unlawfully acquiring 100 gallons of diesel fuel, which he allegedly put into the auxiliary tank of his pickup truck, in November 2016 near Edinburg.

The two-count indictment charges him with transporting motor fuel without proper documentation and conducting a motor fuel transaction without a permit. The offenses are second- and third-degree felonies, respectively, punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine and two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, respectively.

The case is pending prosecution in Hidalgo County.

Jul. 12, 2017

Rito Salgado Jr., 35, of Fort Worth was indicted June 28 on one count of motor fuel tax evasion. He allegedly used a misappropriated gas card to unlawfully obtain fuel for two vehicles without paying taxes on March 8-14.

The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Midland County.

Jesus Medeles-Jurado, 47, of San Elizario was indicted June 28 for allegedly using a misappropriated gas card to unlawfully obtain fuel for two vehicles without paying taxes from March 8 through April 2.

Medeles-Jurado is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Midland County.

Jose Gamboa Infante, 28, of Houston and Ernesto Carbo Lastre, 46, of Austin were arrested June 28 in Austin with 113 gallons of diesel fuel in the auxiliary tank of a pickup truck and four containers in the truck bed. They allegedly used "cloned" credit/debit/gift cards to obtain the fuel unlawfully.

Both suspects are charged with transporting motor fuel without proper documentation and motor fuel tax evasion. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The Austin Police Department assisted in transporting those arrested to the Travis County Jail. CID is actively continuing the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Jul. 11, 2017

Luis Ivan Gutierrez-Prieto, 33, of Amarillo pleaded guilty June 26 in a Potter County district court to one count of motor fuel tax evasion. He received deferred adjudication and was placed on three years' probation and fined $1,500.

Osmar Ramirez Santisteban, [cq] 34, and Conrrado [cq] Gonzales Torres, 45, both of Austin, were arrested June 28 for allegedly transporting 159 gallons of diesel fuel worth $200 in the auxiliary tank of a pickup truck. The fuel had been unlawfully obtained from an Austin gas station.

The suspects each are charged with transporting motor fuel without proper documentation and motor fuel tax evasion. Each 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 Travis County.

Jul. 10, 2017

Yulier Tamayo-Benitez, 34, and Roberto Talavera-Guerra, 36, both of Austin, were indicted June 29 for unlawfully acquiring 177 gallons of diesel fuel worth $400 using a "cloned" credit card and putting it into a pickup truck on March 21.

They each are charged with motor fuel tax evasion (transporting fuel without proper documentation) and credit card abuse. The former offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000; the latter, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

The Travis County Sheriff's Office collaborated with CID in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Williamson County.

Rubber [cq] Guerra Rios, 31, of Austin was arrested for allegedly using a "cloned" credit card to unlawfully obtain 98 gallons of diesel fuel worth $212 from an Austin gas station and putting it into the auxiliary tank of a pickup truck on June 26.

He is charged with transporting motor fuel without proper documentation and motor fuel tax evasion. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The Austin Police Department transported those arrested to the Travis County jail for CID, which is actively continuing the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

April to June

Jun. 29, 2017

Andres Rivero Escobar, 42, of Katy was indicted for transporting motor fuel without proper documentation, a third-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

He allegedly pumped unlawfully acquired diesel fuel into an auxiliary tank in the rear of a flatbed trailer without having a license to transport the motor fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Jun. 26, 2017

Madan Adhikary, 43, of Irving pleaded no contest to bribery, a second-degree felony, for offering a Comptroller's audit supervisor in San Antonio $8,000 cash to "zero out" his tax liability in January.

Under a plea agreement, Adhikary waived indictment and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction). He was sentenced in a Bexar County district court to five years' probation plus court costs.

CID investigators acting in an undercover capacity conducted the investigation. The San Antonio Police Department assisted in the arrest.

The case was prosecuted in Bexar County.


Pedro Rojero Jr., 39, of Fabens was arrested for allegedly transporting 228 gallons of dyed diesel fuel in a pickup truck auxiliary tank. He allegedly obtained the fuel from an oil company storage facility using his and another's agricultural user permits.

Evidence shows that he has illegally acquired more than 200,000 gallons of untaxed fuel and taken it into Mexico during the past 12 months.

Rojero is charged with transporting motor fuel without proper documentation, 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.

Jun. 23, 2017

Santos Del Pozo Rodriguez, 54, of Houston and Daniel Danger, 50, of Naples, Fla. were indicted for allegedly using 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.

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. Evidence shows that Danger attempted to destroy the cards during their apprehension.

The indictments charge both defendants with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without proper documentation, each of which is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Danger also is charged with tampering with physical evidence, a third-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000, and with credit/debit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for from six months up to two years.

The CID assisted Caldwell police officers in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Burleson County.

Jun. 22, 2017

Hendri Samon Perez, 32, of Houston was convicted in a Walker County district court of concealing motor fuel with criminal intent in 2016 and was given a suspended sentence.

Perez had been indicted for transporting motor fuel without proper documentation, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. He pleaded guilty to the lesser included offense of concealment, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

Although sentenced to 169 days in jail, Perez was credited with time served, that being five and a half months since his arrest in February of last year.

The case was prosecuted in Walker County.

Jun. 21, 2017

Adrian Yordanys-Pita, 32, of Houston was indicted for transporting with intent to sell approximately 300 gallons of illegally obtained diesel fuel and failing to pay the backup tax.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, 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 Fort Bend County.


Yuri Columbie, 33, of Houston was indicted for using one of four credit cards without authorization to obtain 105 gallons of diesel fuel without paying the backup tax and transporting it with intent to sell.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000, and credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for from six months up to two years.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Jun. 16, 2017

Jerome White, 32, of Odessa was convicted in a Midland County district court of untaxed tobacco possession and sentenced to five years' probation, a $1,000 fine and 250 hours of community service.

White pleaded guilty to one count of possessing tobacco with taxes due exceeding $50, a third-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Evidence showed he was in possession of 70 cans of snuff for which he had no invoices and 48 packs of stolen cigarettes.

The CID assisted the Midland County Sheriff's Office with the investigation.

Jun. 15, 2017

Kenneth R. Harris, 57, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly operating an unlicensed coin-operated machine manufacture, repair and sales business.

He is accused of operating without a license or registration certificate, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both. The investigation revealed that Harris was conducting business with an expired amusement machine license and repairing amusement machines for resale.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Jun. 12, 2017

Arnel Garcia Fernandez, 28, and Juan Gelsi Corrales, 38, both of Pflugerville, were indicted for failing to pay motor fuel taxes on almost 800 gallons of bulk diesel fuel obtained without a license from three Austin convenience stores and transported without proper documentation in early February.

Fernandez allegedly drove the van into which the fuel was dispensed while Corrales allegedly drove a "blocking" vehicle and acted as lookout.

The defendants were indicted on two counts each of motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The cases are pending prosecution in Travis County.

Jun. 6, 2017

Hector Suarez, 68, of Fort Stockton, a former Pecos County deputy tax assessor-collector, was indicted and arrested for allegedly stealing almost $35,000 in motor vehicle sales tax payments over two years by changing the sales prices on title applications.

He was indicted on nine counts of fraudulently tampering with a government record, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. A separate indictment charges the former motor vehicle tax supervisor with one count of property theft exceeding $2,500 by a public servant, a third-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The CID assisted the Texas Rangers in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Pecos County.

Jun. 5, 2017

Israel Lara, 34, of Pecos was arrested for allegedly violating motor fuel tax requirements for obtaining and concealing untaxed red-dyed diesel fuel in an auxiliary tank in the bed of his pickup truck on June 2 and storing it illegally in a drum and various equipment on his property.

Lara is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. The CID assisted the Reeves County Sheriff's Office with the investigation which stemmed from a related case of stolen oil and gas equipment.

The case is pending prosecution in Reeves County.


Brooke Marie McAllister, 35, of North Richland Hills was sentenced for trafficking in amusement machine decals. Evidence shows she falsified the original and renewal registration certificate applications in 2014-2016 and sold the decals she obtained to various game room owners in North and Central Texas.

McAllister pleaded guilty to one count of fraudulently obtaining a coin-operated machine license, a second-degree felony, and two counts of tampering with a government record (license/seal/permit), a third-degree felony. She was sentenced to six years' deferred adjudication, fines totaling $1,000 and 240 hours of community service.

The case was prosecuted in Tarrant County.


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.


Apr. 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.

Apr. 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.

Apr. 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.

Apr. 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.

Apr. 18, 2017

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.

Apr. 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.

January to March

Mar. 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.

Mar. 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.

Mar. 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.

Mar. 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.

Mar. 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.


Feb. 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.

Feb. 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.

Feb. 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.

Feb. 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..

Feb. 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.

Feb. 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.

Feb. 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.


Jan. 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.

Jan. 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.

Jan. 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.

Jan. 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.

2016

October to December

Dec. 20, 2016

George A. Cox, 40, of Levelland, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. He was sentenced to 3 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and a $2,500 fine. The indicted felony for Transporting Motor Fuel without a Shipping Document was adjudicated pursuant to Section 12.45 of the Texas Penal Code. Cox's case, filed as cause number 7154, was prosecuted in Terry County, Texas.

Dec. 14, 2016

Juan Enrique Maldonado-Castillo, 49, of Pflugerville, was arrested by warrants for the second-degree felony offense of Transporting Motor Fuel without a Shipping Document, the third-degree felony offense of Engaging in a Motor Fuel Transaction without a License and the state jail felony offense of Fraudulent Use/Possession of Identifying Information #Items < 5. These cases are pending indictment in Travis County. Maldonado-Castillo was previously indicted in August 2015 in Travis County, filed as cause number D1-DC-15-900161 as Counts I & II, for the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax and the state jail felony offense of Credit Card Abuse. The new cases are pending indictment in Travis County.

Dec. 12, 2016

Bay Le, 62, of Fort Worth, pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony offense of Books & Records, a Cigarette Tax Violation. She was sentenced in the 396th District Court of Tarrant County to 3 years deferred adjudication and a $300 fine. Le's case, filed as cause number 1464074, was prosecuted in Tarrant County.

Dec. 9, 2016

Isidro Rojelio Montalvo, 48, of Hialeah, Florida, pleaded guilty to the first-degree felony offense of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity and was sentenced to 8 years deferred adjudication, a $4,000 fine, 700 hours of community service, and court-ordered restitution to the victim. Montalvo's case, filed as cause number 16-08-05756-CRW, was prosecuted in Ward County.

Diego A. Gonzalez, 46, of Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty to the first-degree felony offense of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity and was sentenced to 8 years deferred adjudication, a $4,000 fine, 700 hours of community service, and court-ordered restitution to the victim. Gonzalez' case, filed as cause number 16-08-05755-CRW, was prosecuted in Ward County.

Calvin G. Suddeath, 55, of Houston, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Tampering with a Government Record. He was sentenced to 2 years deferred adjudication, $500 fine and 40 hours of community service hours. Suddeath's case, filed as cause number 149641901010, was prosecuted in Harris County.

Dec. 8, 2016

Reinier Munoz Martin, 30, of Midland, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements and was sentenced to 6 years deferred adjudication, $500 fine, 300 hours of community service hours and court-ordered restitution to the victim. Munoz Martin's case, filed as cause number CR47742, was prosecuted in Midland County.

Eusebio Munoz Cepero, 20, of Midland, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements and was sentenced to 6 years deferred adjudication, 300 hours of community service hours and court-ordered restitution to the victim. Munoz Cepero's case, filed as cause number CR47744, was prosecuted in Midland County.


Nov. 23, 2016

Anthony Lara, 39, of Crosby County, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements and was sentenced to 7 years deferred adjudication, $2,000 fine and 20 hours of community service. Lara's case, was filed as cause number 2016-3457, was prosecuted in Crosby County.

Nov. 18, 2016

Luis Manuel Proenza Sanchez, 45, of Houston, was arrested by warrants for the second-degree and third-degree felony offenses of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Proenza Sanchez' cases, are pending indictment in Hidalgo County.

Nov. 17, 2016

Angel Aguila Mercado, 24, of Houston, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. He was sentenced to 4 years deferred adjudication, 160 hours of community service, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $6,899.89 jointly and severally with other co-defendants in the case to the victim. The second unadjudicated case filed as cause number 17,295 was taken into consideration in determining sentence in this case pursuant to Penal Code Section 12.45. Mercado's case, filed as cause number 17,294, was prosecuted in Washington County.

Nov. 15, 2016

Luis Ochoa-Cabrera, 55, of Seguin, was indicted for the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. He was previously arrested for unlawfully appropriating diesel fuel by making fraudulent purchases using cloned credit cards, thereby failing to pay the backup tax as imposed by the Texas Tax Code. Ochoa-Cabrera's case, filed as cause number D1-DC-16-300687, is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Lazaro Abreu Aliaga, aka Lazaro Abreu-Aliago, 52, of Austin, was indicted for the second-degree felony offenses of Evading Motor Fuel Tax and Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents. He was previously arrested for unlawfully appropriating diesel fuel by making fraudulent purchases using cloned credit cards, thereby failing to pay the backup tax as imposed by the Texas Tax Code and for transporting motor fuel without possessing a shipping document. Aliaga's cases, filed as cause numbers D1-DC-16-300691 and D1-DC-16-300686, are pending prosecution in Travis County.

Luis Castillo-Fernandez, 30, of Austin, was indicted for the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. He was previously arrested for unlawfully appropriating diesel fuel by making fraudulent purchases using cloned credit cards, thereby failing to pay the backup tax as imposed by the Texas Tax Code. Castillo-Fernandez' case, filed as cause number D1-DC-16-300690, is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Yonar Bello-Lopez, 32, of Austin, was indicted for the second-degree felony offenses of Evading Motor Fuel Tax and Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents. He was previously arrested for unlawfully appropriating diesel fuel by making fraudulent purchases using cloned credit cards, thereby failing to pay the backup tax as imposed by the Texas Tax Code and for transporting motor fuel without possessing a shipping document. Bello-Lopez' cases, filed as cause numbers D1-DC-16-300689 and D1-DC-16-300684, are pending prosecution in Travis County.

Nov. 3, 2016

Randall Keith Baxter, 63, of San Saba, pleaded guilty to the lesser included offense of Attempted Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Baxter was originally indicted for the third-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements in cause number 5851. The state agreed to prosecute this case under Penal Code Section 12.44(b) as a Class A misdemeanor offense. He was sentenced to 2 years deferred adjudication, $1,000 fine, 150 hours of community service and restitution paid on the date of the plea in the amount of $7,942.00. This case was prosecuted in San Saba County.


Oct. 27, 2016

Luis A. Trejo, 30, of Ralls, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements and was sentenced to 7 years deferred adjudication, $1,500 fine and 20 hours of community service. Trejo's case, filed as cause number 2016-3459, was prosecuted in Crosby County.

Oct. 24, 2016

Manuel Terrazas, Jr., 35, of Plains, was indicted by a Yoakum County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Terrazas' case, filed as cause number 3317, is pending prosecution in Yoakum County.

Oct. 20, 2016

Jaime Macias, 29, of El Paso, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offenses of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 3 years deferred adjudication, $750 in court-ordered restitution, and 200 hours of community service. Macias' case, filed as Counts I & II in cause number 20160D01708, were prosecuted in El Paso County.

Oct. 19, 2016

Yoel M. Fajardo-Crespo, 44, of Houston, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony of Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison, suspended to 5 years probation, and a $500 fine. Fajardo-Crespo's case, filed as cause number 15-12-13118, was prosecuted in Montgomery County.

Juan Andres Rodriguez, 29, of El Paso, pleaded guilty to two counts of the second-degree felony offenses of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 4 years deferred adjudication, $1,000 fine and 400 hours of community service. Both Counts I & II punishments will run concurrently and his case, filed as Counts I & II in cause number 20160D01709, were prosecuted in El Paso County.

Oct. 14, 2016

Juan Manuel Reyes, 45, of Laredo, pleaded guilty to the lesser included Class A misdemeanor offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements after previously being indicted for the second-degree offense of Violation of otor Fuel Tax Requirements. Reyes' case, filed as cause number 2016CRP000369D1, was prosecuted in Webb County.

Oct. 7, 2016

Jackson R. Cooper, 33, of Brownwood, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Tampering with a Government Record. He admitted to obtaining a Texas Sales & Use Tax permit using false information in furtherance of a scheme to defraud others. He was sentenced to serve 9 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Cooper's case, filed as cause number
C-16-1013-CR, was prosecuted in Ector County.

Manuel Montoya, 41, of Odessa, was arrested by warrant for the Class A misdemeanor offense of Concealing Motor Fuel. He posted bond and is awaiting prosecution in Ector County.

Manuel Montoya Jr., 20, of Odessa, was arrested by warrant for the Class A misdemeanor offense of Concealing Motor Fuel. He posted bond and is awaiting prosecution in Ector County.

July to September

Sep. 28, 2016

George Andrew Cox, 40, of Brownfield, was indicted by a Terry County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offenses of Transporting Motor Fuel without a Shipping Document and Evade or Attempt to Evade Motor Fuel Tax. Cox's cases, filed as cause numbers 7153 and 7154, respectively, are pending prosecution in Terry County.

Sep. 27, 2016

Felix Cura Herrera, 42, of Palmview, was indicted by a Sutton County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents and the third-degree felony offense of Engaging in a Motor Fuel Transaction without a License. Herrera's case, filed in cause number 02512 as Counts I & II, are pending prosecution in Sutton County.

Sep. 22, 2016

Jacob Wayne Spencer, 36, of Breckenridge, pleaded guilty to the lesser included Class A misdemeanor offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He had previously been indicted on two separate counts of the second-degree felony offenses of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 2 years deferred adjudication, a $4,000 fine and 80 hours of community service. The felony offenses were dismissed as part of a plea bargain. Spencer's case, filed as cause number 68,494, was prosecuted in Howard County.

Sep. 1, 2016

Vanessa Rodriguez, 31, of El Paso, pleaded guilty to the Class A misdemeanor offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements, a lesser included offense, after being originally indicted for the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. She was sentenced to 365 in the county jail, suspended to 2 years' probation, a $1,000 fine, with restitution to the victim to be determined. Rodriguez' case, filed as cause number 2016D01263, was prosecuted in El Paso County.


Aug. 29, 2016

John P. Hibbeler, 26, of Caldwell, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offenses of Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents and Evading Motor Fuel Tax. He was sentenced to 10 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, suspended to 10 years' probation, $1,000 fine and 160 hours of community service. The court ordered the sentences to run concurrently. Hibbeler's cases, filed as cause numbers 14862 and 14863, respectively, were prosecuted in Burleson County.

Derrick D. Johnson, 40, of Fort Worth, pleaded guilty to a state jail felony offense Fraudulent Use or Possession of Identifying Information less than 5 items. He was sentenced to 3 years deferred adjudication, $300 fine and 120 hours of community service. Johnson's case, filed as cause number 1373928D, was prosecuted in Tarrant County.

Aug. 19, 2016

Reinier Munoz Martin, 30, of Midland, was indicted by a Midland County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Martin's case, filed as cause number CR47742, is pending prosecution in Midland County.

Eusebio R. Munoz Cepero, 19, of Midland, was indicted by a Midland County Grand Jury for two second-degree felony offenses of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Cepero's cases, filed as cause numbers CR47743 and CR47744, respectively, are pending prosecution in Midland County.

Ju IL Kim, 55, of Houston, was arrested by warrant for the second-degree felony offense of Coin-Operated Machine License by Fraud. Kim is alleged to have knowingly obtained a coin-operated machine license by fraud, misrepresentation, or subterfuge. Kim's case is pending prosecution in Ector County.

Aug. 17, 2016

Diego Armando Gonzalez, 46, of Miami, Florida, was indicted by a Ward County Grand Jury for the first-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax enhanced for Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity. Gonzalez' case, filed as a cause number 16-08-5755-CRW, is pending prosecution in Ward County.

Isidro Rojelio Montalvo, 48, of Hialeah, Florida, was indicted by a Ward County Grand Jury for the first-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax enhanced for Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity. Gonzalez' case, filed as a cause number 16-08-5756-CRW, is pending prosecution in Ward County.

Aug. 11, 2016

Charles Martin Smith, 29, of Haskell, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Evade or Attempt to Evade Tax on Motor Fuel and was sentenced in 39th District Court to serve 10 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Smith's case, filed as cause number 6872, was prosecuted in Haskell County.

Aug. 8, 2016

Miguel Rodriguez Popoca, 36, of Houston, was indicted by a Harris County Grand Jury for the state jail felony offense of Fail to Pay Taxes Collected. Popoca's case, filed as cause number 1518268, is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Aug. 3, 2016

Jesus Cervantes, 25, of El Paso, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication, a $3,000 fine with restitution to be determined. Cervantes' case, filed as cause number 20160D01262, was prosecuted in El Paso County.


Jul. 29, 2016

Jorge E. Wong, 58, of El Paso, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Bribery. Wong admitted to intentionally or knowingly offering a pecuniary benefit to a Texas Comptroller employee as consideration for the recipient's decision as a public servant. He was sentenced to 8 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice suspended to 8 years' probation, a $2,500 fine and 200 hours of community service. Wong's case, filed as a cause number 20160D00378, was prosecuted in El Paso County.

Julio Lopez, 25, of El Paso, was arrested for the state jail felony offenses of Fail to Remit Tax by Dealer over $1,500 under $20,000 and Fraudulent Transfer of a Motor Vehicle less than $30,000. Arrest warrants were issued by the 383rd District Court as cause numbers 383-072816-02 and 383-072816-03, respectively, are pending prosecution in El Paso County.

Jul. 27, 2016

Verdecia Adel Perez, 42, of Houston, was indicted by a Fort Bend County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Purchase Motor Fuel with the Intent to Evade Tax. Perez' case, filed as cause number 16-DCR-074345, is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Jul. 26, 2016

Juan Pablo Alvarado, 34, of Mercedes, was indicted by a Hidalgo County Grand Jury for three counts of the third-degree felony offenses of Engaging in a Motor Fuel Transaction without a License, three counts of the second-degree felony offenses of Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents and the state jail felony offense of Theft of Property >=$1,500<$20,000. Alvarado's cases, filed as Counts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Seven in cause number CR-2742-16-G, are pending prosecution in Hidalgo County.

July 14, 2016

A federal grand jury indictment was unsealed after the arrest of four men charged in a scheme to steal an estimated $365,000 worth of diesel fuel. Isai Navarrete, 32; Omar G. Lujan, 35; and Jorge Urias Carrasco, 43, all of Odessa, and Jesus Lozoya, 30, of Gardendale, were all indicted on 8 counts each of Access Device Fraud. The indictment alleges that from January 2014 to September 2014, the defendants knowingly used unauthorized access devices- eight stolen fuel cards- to unlawfully acquire bulk loads of diesel fuel. This case was investigated by the FBI's Permian Basin Oilfield Theft Task Force and the Texas Comptroller's Criminal Investigation Division. The case, filed as cause number M016CR-144, is pending prosecution by the U. S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Texas, Midland-Odessa Division.

Jul. 13, 2016

Denys Casalis-Roy, 36, of Houston, pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony offense of Engaging in a Motor Fuel Transaction without a License and was sentenced to 3 years in the institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He admitted to intentionally and knowingly transporting motor fuel without having a motor fuel transporter's license. Casalis-Roy's case, filed as cause number 24333, was prosecuted in Polk County.

Jul. 11, 2016

Charles Martin Smith, 29, of Haskell, was indicted by a Haskell County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Evade or Attempt to Evade Tax on Motor Fuel. Smith's case, filed as cause number 6872, is pending prosecution in Haskell County.

Jul. 6, 2016

Randall L. Callan, 58, of Roby, pleaded guilty to an Information in 32nd District Court for the third-degree felony offense of Delivering Dyed Diesel Fuel for the operation of a motor vehicle on a public highway. He was sentenced to 4 years deferred adjudication, a $1,500 fine and 60 hours of community service. Callan's case, filed as cause number 3505, was prosecuted in Fisher County.

April to June

Jun. 30, 2016

Jacob Wayne Spencer, 36, of Breckenridge, was indicted by a Howard County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offenses of Evading Motor Fuel Tax and Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents. He was previously arrested and his case, filed as cause numbers, 14771 and 14772, respectively, are pending prosecution in Howard County.

Jun. 27, 2016

Reynaldo Hernandez, 31, of Midland, pleaded guilty to the Class A misdemeanor offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was assessed a $1,500 in county court. Hernandez' case, filed as cause number 15-0450, was prosecuted in Andrews County.

Jun. 23, 2016

Franklin Antonio Robleto, 27, of Houston, was indicted by a Walker County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was previously arrested and his case, filed as cause number 27846, is pending prosecution in Walker County.

Jorge Manuel Batista-Gonzalez, 36, of Miami Beach, Florida, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements in 238th District Court. He was sentenced to 3 years deferred adjudication, $3,500 fine and 200 hours of community service. Sarmiento's case, filed as cause number CR46930, was prosecuted in Midland County.

Michel Sarmiento, 36, of Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements in 238th District Court. He was sentenced to 3 years deferred adjudication, $3,500 fine and 200 hours of community service. Sarmiento's case, filed as cause number CR46931, was prosecuted in Midland County.

Jun. 21, 2016

Hector Cota, 49, of El Paso, pleaded guilty to the lessor included offense of Concealing Motor Fuel in 243rd District Court after previously being indicted for the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 30 days in the county jail. Cota's case, filed as cause number 20160D01706, was prosecuted in El Paso County.

Jun. 20, 2016

Jackson R. Cooper, 33, of Brownwood, was indicted by an Ector County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Tampering with a Government Record. He was previously arrested for this offense and is accused of filing a falsified Texas Sales & Use Application with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts with intent to defraud others. Cooper's case, filed as cause number C-16-1013-CR, is pending prosecution in Ector County.

Jun. 15, 2016

Barbaro Borrero, 44, of Austin, pleaded guilty to the lessor included Class B misdemeanor offense of Failure to Provide a Tax Report to the Texas Comptroller in 299th District Court. He was originally indicted on three felony offenses of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. These indictments were dismissed as part of the plea. He was sentenced to one day in the county jail and a $2,000 fine. Borrero's case, filed as cause number D1DC14900209, was prosecuted in Travis County.

Jun. 9, 2016

Yulier Tamayo-Benitez, 33, of Austin, was sentenced in 403rd District Court for the state jail felony offense of Attempted Motor Fuel Transport without a Shipping Document after previously pleading guilty to the offense. He was sentenced for the lessor included offense to 3 years deferred adjudication and 120 hours of community service. He was previously indicted for Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents and Evading Motor Fuel Tax. The second indictment was dismissed as part of the plea. Tamayo-Benitez' cases, filed respectively as cause numbers D1DC15300038 and D1DC15300037, were prosecuted in Travis County.

Jun. 2, 2016

Kyle B. Cabe, 17, of Macon County, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements in 106th District Court. He was sentenced to 4 years' deferred adjudication, $500 fine, 300 hours of community service and ordered to pay restitution to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Cabe's case, filed as cause number 16-4627, was prosecuted in Gaines County.

Jun. 1, 2016

Carlos Mendoza, 29, of Fort Stockton, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Evades or Attempts to Evade Motor Fuel Tax in 83rd District Court. He was sentenced to 15 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and ordered to pay restitution of $9,457.00 to the victim in the case. Multiple other felony indictments were dismissed pursuant to Texas Penal Code 12.45 after he admitted guilt and those were taken into consideration for punishment in this case. Mendoza's case, filed as cause number 3226, was prosecuted in Pecos County.

Luis Mendoza, 34, of Fort Stockton, pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony offense of Engaging in a Motor Fuel Transaction without a License in 83rd District Court. He was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication, 240 hours of community supervision and ordered to pay restitution of $9,457.00 to the victim in the case. Three other felony indictments were dismissed pursuant to Texas Penal Code 12.45 after he admitted guilt and those were taken into consideration for punishment in this case. Mendoza's case, filed as cause number 3227, was prosecuted in Pecos County.

Carlos Hernandez Mendoza, 61, of Eagle Pass, pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony offense of Engaging in a Motor Fuel Transaction without a License in 83rd District Court. He was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication, 240 hours of community supervision and ordered to pay restitution of $9,457.00 to the victim in the case. Multiple other felony indictments were dismissed pursuant to Texas Penal Code 12.45 after he admitted guilt and those were taken into consideration for punishment in this case. Mendoza's case, filed as cause number 3227, was prosecuted in Pecos County.


May 12, 2016

Denys Casalis-Roy, 36, of Houston, pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony offense of Escape while arrested/confined for felony in 339th District Court. He was sentenced to 2 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Casalis-Roy had escaped from officers while under arrest on a warrant for the felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. His case, filed as cause number 147295701010, was prosecuted in Harris County.

May 3, 2016

Isidro Rojelio Montalvo, 48, of Hialeah, Florida, was arrested for the first-degree felony offense of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity in Monahans, Texas. He was booked into the Ward County jail pending prosecution.

Diego Armando Gonzalez, 46, of Miami, Florida, was arrested for the first-degree felony offense of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity in Monahans, Texas. He was booked into the Ward County jail pending prosecution.

Thong Van Nguyen, 65, of Arlington, was sentenced for the lessor included Class A misdemeanor offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements after previously being indicted for the felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 2 years deferred adjudication, a $500 fine and 80 hours of community service. Nguyen's case, filed as cause number 1401820D, was prosecuted in Tarrant County.

May 2, 2016

Marlon J. Pina-Gonzalez, 25, of Austin, pleaded guilty to the Class A misdemeanor offense of Theft in 299th District Court. This was part of a plea in which the second-degree felony indictment of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements was dismissed. He was sentenced to two days in the county jail. Pina-Gonzalez' case, filed as cause number D1DC15301645, was prosecuted in Travis County.


Apr. 29, 2016

Herman Cade, 46, of Fort Worth, was sentenced to the third-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements after previously pleading guilty to the offense. He was sentenced to 5 years deferred adjudication, court-ordered restitution of $9,713.53 to the victim and 160 hours of community service. Nguyen's case, filed as cause number 1401819D, was prosecuted in Tarrant County.

Apr. 28, 2016

Hendri Samon Perez, 32, of Houston, was indicted by a Walker County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Perez' case, filed as cause number 27783, is being prosecuted in Walker County.

Apr. 21, 2016

Samuel Kimbrough, 57, of Keller, pleaded guilty to the first-degree felony offense of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity in 4th Criminal District Court. He was sentenced to 10 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice suspended to 10 years' probation, a $1,000 fine, and 320 hours of community service. He was also sentenced as a part of his probation to serve 120 days in county jail on a work release program. Kimbrough's case, filed as cause number 1401815D, was prosecuted in Tarrant County.

Jorge Manual Batista-Gonzalez, 36, of Odessa, was indicted by a Midland County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Batista-Gonzalez' case, filed as cause number CR46930, is pending prosecution in Midland County.

Michel Sarmiento, 35, of Odessa, was indicted by a Midland County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Sarmiento's case, filed as cause number CR46931, is pending prosecution in Midland County.

Apr. 19, 2016

Blanca Melendez, 52, of El Paso, was indicted by an El Paso County Grand Jury for the second-degree and third-degree felony offenses of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. This case, filed as Counts I & II in cause number 20160D01707, are being prosecuted in El Paso County.

Jaime Macias aka Jaime Melendez, 28, of El Paso, was indicted by an El Paso County Grand Jury for the second-degree and third-degree felony offenses of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. This case, filed as Counts I & II in cause number 20160D01708, are being prosecuted in El Paso County.

Juan Andres Rodriguez, 28, of El Paso, was indicted by an El Paso County Grand Jury for the second-degree and third-degree felony offenses of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Rodriguez' cases, filed as Counts I & II in cause number 20160D01709, are being prosecuted in El Paso County.

Apr. 15, 2016

Yonar Bello Lopez, 31, of Austin, was arrested for two, second-degree felony warrants issued by Austin Municipal Court for Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Bello Lopez' cases, filed as cause number D1DC16300684 & D1DC16300689, are pending prosecution in Travis County.

Luis Castillo-Fernandez, 29, of Austin, was arrested for a second-degree felony warrant issued by Austin Municipal Court for Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Castillo-Fernandez' case, filed as cause number D1DC16300690, is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Lazaro Abreu Aliaga, 52, of Houston, was arrested for two, second-degree felony warrants issued by Austin Municipal Court for Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Aliaga's cases, filed as cause number D1DC16300686 & D1DC16300691, are pending prosecution in Travis County.

Luis Ochoa Cabrera, 54, of Seguin, was arrested for a second-degree felony warrant issued by Austin Municipal Court for Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Ochoa Cabrera's case, filed as cause number D1DC16300687, is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Apr. 12, 2016

Omar Hernandez Ruiz, 38, of Midland, was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison and 3 years supervised release for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, 18 U.S.C. 1343/18 U.S.C. 1349, and Alma Evangelina Valenzuela, 41, of Midland, was sentenced on March 21, 2016, to 5 years federal probation for her role in the same criminal offense. She was also assessed a $6,000 fine and 300 hours of community service. Both defendants previously pleaded guilty to their roles in this scheme.

Court documents alleged that Ruiz and Valenzuela, owners of a trucking company in Midland, Texas, purchased diverted portions of fuel loads destined for another company in Odessa, Texas. The fuel distributor was unaware of the diversions and their employee would report that he delivered the full load to the client and cause the fuel distributor to electronically bill the client for the entire order of fuel. Court documents alleged that the scheme occurred between January 2011 and December 2012. The fuel delivery driver, Salvador Garza, was previously sentenced in the case and served 21 months in federal prison. Both defendants along with Salvador Garza were ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $800,000 jointly and severally to the victim in the case. The case was investigated by the FBI's Permian Basin Oilfield Theft Task Force and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Texas Comptroller. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas — Midland-Odessa Division as case number 7:15-CR-00171-RAJ.

January to March

Mar. 17, 2016

Jesus Cervantes, 25, of El Paso, was indicted by an El Paso County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. Cervantes' case, filed as cause number 20160D01220-120, is pending prosecution in El Paso County.

Vanessa Rodriguez, 31, of El Paso, was indicted by an El Paso County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. Rodriguez' case, filed as cause number 20160D01221-120, is pending prosecution in El Paso County.

Mar. 16, 2016

Jose Julian Rodriguez-Hernandez, 25, of Seagraves, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 7 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, suspended to 7 years' probation, $7,000 fine and 160 hours of community service. The second case was adjudicated pursuant to Texas Penal Code Section 12.45. Rodriguez-Hernandez' cases, filed as cause numbers 3200 and 3201, were prosecuted in Yoakum County.

Juan Manuel Reyes, 44, of Rio Bravo, was indicted by a Webb County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Reyes' case, filed as cause number 2016CRP369-D1, is pending prosecution in Webb County.

Mar. 11, 2016

Eslay Monzon, 43, of Amarillo, pleaded true to the motion to adjudicate guilt in the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was previously placed of deferred adjudication on May 26, 2015. During the sentencing hearing on the motion to adjudicate guilt, he was sentenced to 5 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Monzon's case, filed as cause number 70,024-D, was prosecuted in Potter County.

Mar. 7, 2016

Eusebio Munoz Cepero, 19, of Midland, was arrested for the second-degree felony offenses of Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents and Evading Motor Fuel Tax after being involved in an ongoing motor fuel theft scheme. He was released after posting bonds and the cases are pending indictment in Midland County.

Reinier Munoz Martin, 30, of Midland, was arrested for the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax after being involved in an ongoing motor fuel theft scheme. He was released after posting bond and the case is pending indictment in Midland County.

John Paeden Hibbeler, 25, of Caldwell, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offenses of Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents and Evading Motor Fuel Tax. Formal sentencing is scheduled in October 2016 in Burleson County District Court. Hibbeler's case, filed as cause numbers 14,862 and 14,863, were prosecuted in Burleson County.

Mar. 3, 2016

Yoel Miguel Fajardo-Crespo, 43, of Houston, was indicted by a Montgomery County Grand Jury after being arrested on December 9, 2015, for the second-degree felony offense of Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents. Fajardo-Crespo's case, filed as cause number 15-12-13118-CR, is pending prosecution in Montgomery County.


Feb. 29, 2016

Hendri Perez Samon, 32, of Houston, was arrested by warrant for a second-degree felony offense after investigation revealed he was transporting motor fuel without shipping documents in violation of the Motor Fuels Tax Code Chapter 162. Perez Samon's case is pending prosecution in Walker County.

Feb. 26, 2016

Calvin G. Suddeath, 54, of Houston, was indicted by a Harris County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Tampering with Governmental Record. Suddeath's case, filed as cause number 1496419, is pending prosecution in Harris County

Feb. 19, 2016

Prentice L. Alexander, 74, of Montgomery, pleaded guilty to the lessor included Class A misdemeanor offenses of Attempted Fail to Pay Taxes Collected $20K < $100K and Attempted False Entry/Fail to Enter in Tax Records. He was sentenced to 3 days in jail and a $1,000 fine on each charge. Alexander's case, filed as Count I and Count II in cause number 15-06-06232, was prosecuted in Montgomery County.

Feb. 16, 2016

Luis Alfredo Trejo, 29, of Ralls, was arrested after being indicted by a Crosby County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offenses of Evading Motor Fuel Tax, Transporting Motor Fuel without a Shipping Document, and another charge of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. Trejo's cases, filed as cause numbers 2016-3458, 2016-3459 and 2016-3460, are being prosecuted in Crosby County.

Anthony Sepeda Lara, 38, of Ralls, was arrested after being indicted by a Crosby County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offenses of Selling and Storing Untaxed Motor Fuel, Evading Motor Fuel Tax and Transporting Motor Fuel without a Shipping Document. Lara's cases, filed as cause numbers 2016-3455, 2016-3456 and 2016-3457, are being prosecuted in Crosby County.

Feb. 12, 2016

Jose Luis Virgen Moreno, 47, of Dallas, pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 5 years deferred adjudication. Virgen Moreno's case, filed as cause number F-1581022-L, was prosecuted in Dallas County.

Feb. 11, 2016

Niraj Thapa, 33, of Breckenridge, was indicted by the Eastland County Grand Jury for the third-degree felony offense of Possession of Tobacco Products: Tax Due More Than $50.00. He was previously arrested for the offense and his case, filed as cause number 24268, is pending prosecution in Eastland County.

Feb. 4, 2016

Kyle Benjamin Cabe, 17, of North Carolina, was indicted by a Gaines County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Cabe's case, filed as cause number 16-4627, is being prosecuted in Gaines County.

Feb. 1, 2016

Jerry Dan Merrell, 51, of Springtown, pleaded guilty to the enhanced first-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication and his case, filed as cause number CR18183, was prosecuted in Wise County.


Jan. 29, 2016

Diane Lopez Figueroa, 36, of Fort Worth, pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony offense of Tampering with Government Record License/Seal/Permit and was sentenced to 3 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Lopez Figueroa admitted to making, presenting, or possessing a governmental record with knowledge of its falsity, the document being a Texas Coin-Operated Machine General Business License. Lopez Figueroa's case, filed as cause number 1414092D, was prosecuted in Tarrant County.

Jorge Esquivel Wong, 57, of El Paso, was indicted by an El Paso County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Bribery. He was previously arrested for Bribery after intentionally or knowingly offering a benefit to a Texas State Comptroller employee as consideration for the recipient's decision as a public servant. Wong's case, filed as 20160D00378-168, is being prosecuted in El Paso.

Jan. 20, 2016

Randall L. Callan, 57, of Roby, was indicted by a Fisher County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. Callan's case, filed as cause number 3501, is being prosecuted in Fisher County.

Jan. 12, 2016

Alfredo Camarillo, 49, of Fort Worth, pleaded guilty to the Class A misdemeanor offense of Concealing Motor Fuel. He was sentenced to 12 months' probation, a $1,000 fine, and 40 hours of community service. Camarillo's case, filed as cause number 66,075, was prosecuted in Howard County, Texas.

Jan. 5, 2016

Kenneth D. Cooke, 61, of Burleson, was arrested for the state jail felony offense of Failure to Pay Taxes Collected, $1,500 < $20,000, after the issuance of an arrest warrant. Cooke's case is pending indictment in Tarrant County.

2015

October to December

Dec. 23, 2015

Tony Lawrence Olsen, 38, of Fountain Green, Utah, pleaded nolo contendere to the Class A misdemeanor offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to a $1,000 fine. Olsen's case, filed as cause number 153720, was prosecuted in Midland County.

Dec. 17, 2015

Alejandro Vega Torres, 32, of Hialeah, Florida, was indicted by a Midland County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Vega Torres' case, filed as CR46276, is being prosecuted in Midland County.

Dec. 16, 2015

Robert Lambright, 62, of Hobbs, New Mexico, pleaded guilty to the Class A misdemeanor offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 3 days in the Ector County jail and a $1,500 fine. Lambright's case, filed as cause number 15-4409, was prosecuted in Ector County.

Dec. 9, 2015

Randall Keith Baxter, 62, of San Saba, was indicted by a San Saba County Grand Jury for the second and third-degree felony offenses of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Baxter's case, filed as Counts I, II and III, in cause number 5851, is being prosecuted in San Saba County.

Yoel Miguel Fajardo Crespo, 43, of Houston, was arrested for the second-degree felony offense of Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents. This case is pending indictment in Montgomery County, Texas.

Dec. 8, 2015

Frederick Wayne Jones, 50, of Houston, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 8 years deferred adjudication, $1,000 fine and 100 hours of community service. Jones' case, filed as cause number 147364301010, was prosecuted in Harris County.


Nov. 15, 2015

Guadalupe Rivera Vasquez, 56, of Garland, was indicted by a Dallas County Grand Jury on multiple counts for second and third-degree felony offenses of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Rivera Vasquez' case, filed as cause number F1500756, is being prosecuted in Dallas County.

Juan D. Hernandez, 62, of Garland, was indicted by a Dallas County Grand Jury on multiple counts for second and third-degree felony offenses of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Hernandez' case, filed as cause number F1581010, is being prosecuted in Dallas County.

Jose Luis Virgen Moreno, 46, of Dallas, was indicted by a Dallas County Grand Jury on multiple counts for second and third-degree felony offenses of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Virgen Moreno's case, filed as cause number F1581022, is being prosecuted in Dallas County.

Nov. 10, 2015

Cedric B. Pickard, 43, of Houston, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Selling Fuel without Tax, a violation of motor fuel tax requirements. He was sentenced to 2 years deferred adjudication, $500 fine and 120 hours of community service. Pickard's case, filed as cause number 147181501010, was prosecuted in Harris County.

Nov. 4, 2015

Johnathan D. Gwyn, 42, of Kingwood, pleaded guilty to the Class A misdemeanor offense of selling unstamped cigarettes. He was sentenced to serve 2 days in the county jail. Gwyn's case, filed as cause number 205518901010, was prosecuted in Harris County.

Nov. 2, 2015

Jose Rodriguez-Hernandez, 25, of Seagraves, was indicted by a Yoakum County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offenses of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was previously arrested under warrant prior to his indictment. Rodriguez-Hernandez' case, filed as cause numbers 3200 and 3201, are pending prosecution in Yoakum County.


Oct. 29, 2015

Jose Miguel Cuellar-Campber, 49, of Hialeah, Florida, was indicted by a Harris County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Transporting Motor Fuel without a Shipping Document. He was previously arrested for the offense. Cuellar-Campber's case, filed as cause number 1484882, is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Carlos Rivelino Martinez, 39, of Houston was indicted by a Harris County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Transporting Motor Fuel without a Shipping Document. He was previously arrested for the offense. Rivelino Martinez' case, filed as cause number 1484883, is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Thomas Bret Jackson, 59, of Hawley, was arrested after being indicted by a Jones County Grand Jury for the third-degree felony offense of False Name, False Information and Forgery of a Title Application. Jackson's case, filed as cause number 011353, is pending prosecution in Jones County. He was indicted in May 2015 in the same county for an additional offense relating to title fraud.

Oct. 14, 2015

Andrew Sloan Robinson, 20, of Ackerly, pleaded true to a motion to revoke his probation for the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. He was subsequently sentenced to serve 5 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Robinson's case, filed as cause number 14-7378, was prosecuted in Dawson County.

Oct. 13, 2015

Gilibaldo Puente, 50, of San Antonio, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. He was sentenced to serve 3 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Puente's case, filed as cause number D1DC14300744, was prosecuted in Travis County.

Oct. 7, 2015

Andrew A. Reynolds, 48, of Waxahachie, pleaded guilty during a jury trial to the third-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was subsequently sentenced to serve 12 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Reynolds' case, filed as cause number 1401818D, was prosecuted in Tarrant County.

Jesus Emilio Mireles, 38, of Mission, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 4 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice suspended to 5 years' probation. He was also ordered to pay an $8,000 fine and perform 160 hours of community service. Mireles' case, filed as cause number 3138, was prosecuted in Yoakum County.

Oct. 6, 2015

Donald Mayo, 80, of Houston, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Accepting Delivery of Motor Fuel without Receiving a Shipping Document. He was sentenced to 4 years deferred adjudication and a $1,000 fine. Mayo's case, filed as cause number 147076501010, was prosecuted in Harris County.

Oct. 1, 2015

Treacy O'Brian Robbins, 42, of Tyler, was arrested after being indicted by a Gregg County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Transporting Motor Fuel without Manifest or Shipping Document, a violation of motor fuel tax requirements, and for the state jail felony offense of aggregate theft of property over $1,500 or more but less than $20,000. Robbins' case, filed as Count I and II in cause number 45081-B, is pending prosecution in Gregg County.

July to September

Sep. 29, 2015

Kendra Kinney, 28, of Waller, pleaded guilty to the state jail felony offense of Forgery. She admitted to forging a state treasury warrant and cashing it to receive the monetary benefits. She was sentenced to 2 years deferred adjudication. Kinney's case, filed as cause number 146780801010, was prosecuted in Harris County.

Sep. 25, 2015

Ronald G. Martin, 67, of Abilene, pleaded true to a motion to adjudicate his guilt for the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. He was subsequently sentenced to serve 2 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He was also sentenced to serve 2 years for the third-degree felony offense of Driving While Intoxicated. Martin's case, filed as cause number 18471B, was prosecuted in Taylor County.

Luis Castro Alarcon, 41, of Austin, pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 6 years deferred adjudication, a $750 fine and 450 hours of community service. Alarcon's case, filed as cause number 43044, was prosecuted in Burnet County. He also admitted guilt to the un-adjudicated second-degree felony offenses of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements pursuant to section 12.45 of the Penal Code and those counts were dismissed.

Sep. 24, 2015

Diego Fernando Pena, 25, of Mission, pleaded guilty to the Class A misdemeanor offense of Concealing Motor Fuel. He was sentenced to 1 year in the county jail, probated for 2 years, a $1,000 fine and 80 hours of community service. Pena's case, filed as cause number 66077, was prosecuted in Howard County.

Sep. 23, 2015

Yulier Tamayo-Benitez, 32, of Austin, was indicted by a Travis County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax and the second-degree felony offense of Transporting Motor Fuel without a Shipping Document. He was previously arrested and his case, filed as cause numbers D1DC15300037 and D1DC15300038, are pending prosecution in Travis County.

Marlon J. Pina-Gonzalez, 24, of Austin, was indicted by a Travis County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. He was previously arrested and his case, filed as cause number D1DC15301645, is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Carlos Mendoza, 29, of Fort Stockton, was indicted by a Pecos County Grand Jury for 19 felony offenses ranging from the first-degree felony offense of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, to the second-degree offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax, to the third-degree felony offense of Engaging in a Motor Fuel Transaction without a License, to the state jail felony offense of Credit Card Abuse. The 19 cases, filed as cause numbers 3209, 3210, 3211, 3213, 3215, 3216, 3219, 3223, 3225, 3226, 3228, 3230, 3231, 3234, 3237, 3240, 3242, 3245 & 3246, are pending prosecution in Pecos County.

Luis Alberto Mendoza, 34, of Fort Stockton, was indicted by a Pecos County Grand Jury for two, state jail felony offenses of Credit Card Abuse, and two, second-degree felony offenses of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. The cases, filed as cause numbers 3212, 3214, 3227 and 3229, are pending prosecution in Pecos County.

Carlos Hernandez Mendoza, 60, of Eagle Pass, was indicted by a Pecos County Grand Jury for two, third-degree felony offenses of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, two, first-degree felony offenses of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, and two, third-degree felony offenses of Engaging in a Motor Fuel Transaction without a License. The cases, filed as cause numbers 3217, 3220, 3232, 3235, 3241 and 3243, are pending prosecution in Pecos County.

Paul E. Alvarez, 33, of Sunland Park, New Mexico, was indicted by a Pecos County Grand Jury for the third-degree felony offense of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, the first-degree felony offense of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity and the third-degree felony offense of Engaging in a Motor Fuel Transaction without a License. The cases, filed as cause numbers 3222, 3239 and 3244, are pending prosecution in Pecos County.

Elias Gutierrez Alvarez, 39, of Lynwood, California, was indicted by a Pecos County Grand Jury for two, third-degree felony offenses of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, and two, first-degree felony offenses of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity. The cases, filed as cause numbers 3218, 3224, 3233 and 3238, are pending prosecution in Pecos County.

Jose Manuel Aguilar Castillo, 39, of Mesa, Arizona, was indicted by a Pecos County Grand Jury for the third-degree felony offense of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity and the first-degree felony offense of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity. The cases, filed as 3221 and 3236, are pending prosecution in Pecos County.

Sep. 18, 2015

Denys Casalis-Roy, 35, of Houston, was indicted by a Polk County Grand Jury for the third-degree felony offense of Engaging in a Motor Fuel Transaction without a License, the second-degree felony offense of Transporting Motor Fuel without a Shipping Document, and the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. He was previously arrested and his case, filed as Count One, Two & Three in cause number 24333, is pending prosecution in Polk County.

Sep. 17, 2015

Frederick Wayne Jones, 50, of Houston, was indicted by a Harris County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents. Jones was previously arrested and his case, filed as cause number 1473643, is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Leonardo Garcia, 42, of Miami, Florida, was indicted by a Harris County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents. Garcia was previously arrested and his case, filed as cause number 1473645, is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Sep. 15, 2015

Uriel Fraire, 24, of Arlington, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Theft of Property in the amount of $100,000 or more but less than $200,000. He was sentenced to 8 years deferred adjudication, $134,928.57 in restitution jointly and severally with other co-defendants, and 160 hours of community service. Fraire's case, filed as 6674, was prosecuted in Terry County.

Sep. 9, 2015

Tanea Shante Pennon, 28, of Dallas, pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony offense of Fraudulent Use or Possession of Identifying Information 5 to 10 items. She was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication, a $2,000 fine, 200 hours of community service and restitution to the victim in the amount of $4,771.04. The second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax and the state jail felony offense of Credit Card Abuse were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. Pennon's case, filed as cause number CR15-0031, was prosecuted in Parker County.

Sep. 4, 2015

David Clarke, 44, of Elgin, pleaded guilty to a lessor included Class A misdemeanor offense of Concealing Motor Fuel after he was previously indicted for the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. He was sentenced to 2 years deferred adjudication, a $750 fine and 80 hours of community service. Clarke's case, filed as cause number D1DC14900198, was prosecuted in Travis County.


Aug. 27, 2015

Juan Valorias Mesa, 43, of Houston, pleaded guilty to the first-degree felony offense of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity for the predicate offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. He was sentenced to 8 years deferred adjudication, restitution jointly and severally with co-defendant Jose Perez-Sanchez in the amount of $6,899.89, and 400 hours of community service. He also admitted guilt to the un-adjudicated second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax pursuant to section 12.45 of the Penal Code. Valorias Mesa's case, filed as cause number 17,041, was prosecuted in Washington County.

Aug. 26, 2015

Juan Enrique Maldonado-Castillo, 48, of Pflugerville, was indicted by a Travis County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax and the state jail felony offense of Credit Card Abuse. Maldonado-Castillo's case, filed as Count I and II in cause number D1DC15900161, is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Aug. 25, 2015

Ray Lynn Wells, 36, of Gorman, pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony offenses of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements and was sentenced to 10 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for each offense which will run concurrently. The case filed, as cause numbers 23705 and 23706, were prosecuted in Eastland County.

Cedric B. Pickard, 43, of Houston, was indicted by a Harris County Grand Jury for the third-degree felony offense of False or No Cargo Manifest and for the second-degree felony offense of Sell Motor Fuel without Tax. The case filed, as cause numbers 1471814 and 1471815, are pending prosecution in Harris County.

Aug. 14, 2015

Denys Casalis-Roy, 35, of Houston, was indicted by a Harris County Grand Jury for the third-degree felony offense of Escape. Casalis-Roy's case, filed as cause number 1472957, is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Aug. 5, 2015

Guilibaldo Puente, 50, of San Antonio, was indicted by a Travis County Grand Jury for the third-degree felony offense of Engaging in a Motor Fuel Transaction without a License, the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax and the third-degree felony offense of Theft of Property more than $20,000 but less than $100,000 aggregated amounts. Puente's case, filed as Counts I, II and III in cause number D1DC14300744, is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Alejandro Centeno Alvarez, 36, of Austin, was indicted by a Travis County Grand Jury for the state jail felony offense of Theft over $1,500 but less than $20,000 aggregated amounts and the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. Alvarez' case, filed as Counts I and II in cause number D1DC14300745, is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Ramiro Centeno Jasso, 39, of Austin, was indicted by a Travis County Grand Jury for the state jail felony offense of Theft over $1,500 but less than $20,000 aggregated amounts and the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. Jasso's case, filed as Counts I and II in cause number D1DC14300742, is pending prosecution in Travis County.


Jul. 31, 2015

Ivan Mari, 49, of Round Rock, was indicted by a Travis County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offenses of Evading Motor Fuel Tax and Accepting Delivery of Motor Fuel without a Shipping Document. He was previously arrested on the charge. The case, filed as Count I and II in cause number D1-DC-15-300036, is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Jul. 30, 2015

Arnulfo Rodriguez Aranda, 55, of Odessa, was sentenced to 2 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice after pleading true on a motion to adjudicate his guilt to the second-degree felony offense of Evades or Attempts to Evade Motor Fuel Tax. He was originally placed on 3 years deferred adjudication for this offense on March 27, 2015. Aranda's case, filed as cause number D-43,094, was prosecuted in Ector County.

Jul. 29, 2015

Freddy Olivas, III, 31, of Odessa, pleaded guilty the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax and the third-degree felony offense of Engaging in a Motor Fuel Transaction without a License. He was sentenced to 3 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $10,675.74. He subsequently pleaded true to violating terms of his probation for the felony offense of driving while intoxicated. He was also sentenced to 5 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for the probation violation which will run concurrently with his other judgments. Olivas' cases, filed as Information in cause numbers A-45,247 and A-45,248, were prosecuted in Ector County.

Cody Ray Graninger, 37, of Levelland, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Evades or Attempts to Evade Motor Fuel Tax. He was sentenced to 6 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice which was suspended to 4 years probation. He was also ordered to pay $11,666.11 in restitution to the Levelland ISD. Graninger's case, filed as an Information in cause number 15078420, was prosecuted in Hockley County.

Jul. 23, 2015

Omar Hernandez Ruiz, 37, and Alma Evangelina Valenzuela, 40, both of Midland, were arrested after being indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The case, filed as cause number M015CR-171, is pending prosecution by the U. S. Attorney's office for the Western District of Texas, Midland-Odessa Division.

Jul. 20, 2015

Blake Blaha, 23, of Bedford, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements and to the state jail felony offense of Credit Card Abuse. He was sentenced to 6 years deferred adjudication, a $1,000 fine, 200 hours of community service and restitution totaling $3,533.22. Blaha's cases, filed as cause numbers CR44011, were prosecuted in Midland County.

Sarah Garcia, 49, of Tahoka, pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony offense of Forgery of a Title Application. She was sentenced to 5 years deferred adjudication, a $1,000 fine and 300 hours of community service restitution. Garcia admitted to intentionally or knowingly providing false information on an application for a certificate of vehicle title, by falsely reporting a vehicle trade-in for an even trade to underreport the amount of motor vehicle tax due. The case, filed as cause number 15-3174, was prosecuted in Lynn County.

Jul. 17, 2015

Steve Craig Morris, 47, of Abilene, appeared in 104th District Court and pleaded true to a motion to adjudicate his guilt to the third-degree felony offense of False or No Cargo Manifest relating to motor fuel tax. He was sentenced to 5 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and a $1,000 fine for violating terms of his probation. Morris' case, originally filed as cause number 18472B, was prosecuted in Taylor County.

Jul. 15, 2015

John P. Hibbeler, 24, of Caldwell, was indicted by a Burleson County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offenses of Evading Motor Fuel Tax and Transporting Motor Fuel without Shipping Documents. He was previously arrested on the charges and is awaiting prosecution in Burleson County. Hibbeler's cases, are filed as cause numbers 14,862 and 14,863.

Jul. 10, 2015

Curtis L. Lockhart, 41, of Dalhart, pleaded guilty the Class A misdemeanor offense of Concealing Motor Fuel. He was accused of intentionally and knowingly concealing motor fuel with the intent of engaging in conduct proscribed by Chapter 162 of the Motor Fuels Tax Code. He was sentenced to a $2,000 fine. Lockhart's case, filed as cause number 4811, was prosecuted in Hartley County.

Juan Carlos Arrieta, 24, of Fort Worth, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 2 years deferred adjudication, a $1,000 fine and 100 hours of community service. He admitted to concealing and storing untaxed diesel fuel, delivering and permitting the delivery of untaxed diesel fuel into a motor vehicle for public highway use. Arrieta's case, filed as cause number 70025-D, was prosecuted in Potter County.

Jul. 2, 2015

Kaleb Shadle, 25, of Clarendon, pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 2 years deferred adjudication, a $500 fine and 75 hours of community service. Shadle admitted to being a person required to have a license, under Motor Fuels Tax Code Chapter 162, intentionally and knowingly engaging in a motor fuel transaction without holding a license. Shadle's case, filed as cause number 70,022, was prosecuted in Potter County.

April to June

Jun. 30, 2015

William Bluitt, Jr., 41, of Crowley, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax and was sentenced to 10 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The sentence was suspended to 7 years probation, a $1,000 fine and 480 hours of community service. Bluitt's case, filed as cause number 39475CR, was prosecuted in Ellis County.

Jun. 29, 2015

Luis Fiz Mejia, 25, of Amarillo, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 2 years deferred adjudication, a $1,000 fine and 100 hours of community servicee. He admitted to concealing and storing untaxed diesel fuel, delivering untaxed diesel fuel into a motor vehicle for use on a public highway, engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license and transporting motor fuel without a shipping document as required by law. Fiz Mejia's case, filed as cause number 70023-D, was prosecuted in Potter County.

Jun. 25, 2015

Gabriel N. Montiel, 73, of Dimmitt, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 5 years deferred adjudication, a $2,500 fine and $283 in restitution. Montiel's case, filed as cause number A3602-1501, was prosecuted in Castro County.

Jun. 23, 2015

Prentice L. Alexander, 74, of Montgomery, was arrested after being indicted by a Montgomery County Grand Jury for the third-degree felony offenses of Fail to Pay Taxes Collected more than $20,000 but less than $100,000 and False Entry/Fail to Enter in Tax Records. Alexander's case, filed as Counts I and II in cause number 15-06-06232-CR, is pending prosecution in Montgomery County.

Jun. 18, 2015

Joe Edward Rivas, 26, of Lamesa, pleaded guilty to the state jail felony offense of Credit Card Abuse and was sentenced to 2 years in the state jail division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The court suspended the sentence to 3 years probation, a $750 fine and 200 hours of community service. Rivas' case, filed as cause number CR44937, was prosecuted in Midland County.

Jun. 19, 2015

Pedro Herrera-Casas, 40, of Hialeah, Florida, was indicted by a Kleberg County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offenses of Accepting Delivery of Motor Fuel without a Shipping Document and Evading or Attempting to Evade Motor Fuel Tax. The case, filed as cause number 15-CRF-0190, is pending prosecution in Kleberg County.

Jun. 12, 2015

Taher Merchant, 63, of Fort Worth, pleaded guilty to the lesser included offense of Possession of Tobacco Products with Tax Due Less than $50, a Class A misdemeanor. He was originally indicted for the third-degree felony offense of Possession of Tobacco Products with Tax Due more than $50. He was sentenced to 2 years deferred adjudication, a $250 fine, restitution to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts in the amount of $1,673.14, and 40 hours of community service. Merchant's case, filed as cause number 2014-1986-C2, was prosecuted in McLennan County.

Jun. 5, 2015

Angeline Offord, 39, of Houston, pleaded guilty to the state jail felony offense of Theft. The court assessed Class A misdemeanor punishment pursuant to Section 12.44 of the Penal Code and she was sentenced to 120 days confinement in the county jail. The second-degree felony offense of Transporting Motor Fuel without a Shipping Document was dismissed as a part of the plea agreement. Offord's case, filed as cause numbers 14-02-01878 and 13-08-09156-CR, were prosecuted in Montgomery County.


May 28, 2015

Eslay Monzon, 41, of Amarillo, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violations of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was previously indicted in February 2015 for this offense. He was sentenced to 3 years deferred adjudication. Monzon admitted to intentionally and knowingly evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax by concealing and storing untaxed diesel fuel, delivering untaxed diesel fuel into a motor vehicle for public highway use, engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, and by transporting motor fuel without shipping documents as required by law. Monzon's case, filed as cause number 70024-D, was prosecuted in Potter County.

May 26, 2015

Ramon Aguilar, 47, of Seagraves, pleaded guilty to the first-degree felony offense of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity with the underlying offense being theft. The second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax was adjudicated as part of the plea pursuant to Penal Code Section 12.45. He was sentenced to 8 years deferred adjudication, 160 hours of community service and was ordered to make restitution of $137,428.57 to be paid jointly and severally with other co-defendants. Aguilar's case, filed as cause number 6681, was prosecuted in Terry County.

Silverio Faire, 59, of Loop, pleaded guilty to the first-degree felony offense of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity with the underlying offense being theft. The second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax was adjudicated as part of the plea pursuant to Penal Code Section 12.45. He was sentenced to 5 years deferred adjudication, 160 hours of community service and paid $40,000 in restitution on the day of the plea, with additional restitution of $108,908.45 ordered to be paid jointly and severally with other co-defendants. Faire's case, filed as cause number 6677, was prosecuted in Terry County.

May 20, 2015

Thomas Bret Jackson, 59, of Hawley, was arrested after being indicted by a Jones County Grand Jury for the third-degree felony offense of False Information/Forgery of Vehicle Title Application. Jackson's case, filed as cause number 011248, is pending prosecution in Jones County.

Curtis Lacey, 54, of Little Elm, pleaded guilty to the state jail felony offense of Theft over $1,500 but less than $20,000, filed as an Information in 32nd District Court. He admitted to stealing untaxed diesel fuel from the Precinct One county maintenance yard. Lacey was sentenced to 2 years confinement in the state jail division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice probated for 3 years, a $3,000 fine, $2,000 restitution and 120 hours of community service. Lacey's case, filed as cause number 3483, was prosecuted in Fisher County.

May 18, 2015

Aaron Rowden, 28, of Odessa, pleaded guilty to the state jail felony offense of Theft less than $1,500 with 2 or more previous convictions for theft. He was sentenced to 12 months confinement in the state jail division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The court ordered restitution to the victim in the amount of $263.96. Rowden's case, filed as cause number B-41,900, was prosecuted in Ector County.

May 11, 2015

Trey Carl Smith, 30, of New Home, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Transporting Motor Fuel without a Shipping Document. He was sentenced to 3 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He was accused of intentionally or knowingly transporting motor fuel for which a cargo manifest and shipping document is required to be carried without possessing and exhibiting on demand by an officer authorized to make the demand. Smith's case, filed as cause number 14-3132, was prosecuted in Lynn County.

May 5, 2015

Franklin Russ Padgett, 53, of Midland, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Evades or Attempts to Evade Motor Fuel Tax. He was sentenced to 2 years deferred adjudication, a $5,000 fine and 240 hours of community service. Padgett's case, filed as cause number 3400, was prosecuted in the Pecos County.

May 4, 2015

Joshua Clay Parker, 24, of Henderson, pleaded guilty to the Class A misdemeanor offense of Theft over $500 but less than $1,500. He was sentenced to 1 day in county jail, a $4,000 fine and $1,814 in restitution to the victim. Parker's case, filed as cause number CM-14-466, was prosecuted in Leon County.

Bradford R. Frizzell, 47, of Springtown, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 4 years deferred adjudication, and a $400 fine. He admitted to intentionally or knowingly evading or attempting to evade in any manner a tax imposed on motor fuel by Chapter 162 of the Texas Tax Code. Frizzell's case, filed as cause number 1402778D, was prosecuted in Tarrant County.


Apr. 30, 2015

Fernando Aguero, Sr., 48, of Dimmitt, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 7 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and a $2,000 fine. He was accused of intentionally and knowingly evading and attempting to evade a tax imposed on motor fuel by Chapter 162 of the Texas Tax Code, by using and storing untaxed diesel fuel within this state on which the taxes imposed by this chapter are owed but have not been first paid to or reported by a license holder, another user, or any other person required to hold a license under statute, and by accepting a delivery of motor fuel by any means and does not at the same time accept or receive a shipping document relating to the delivery. Aguero's case, filed as cause number A3549-1406, was prosecuted in Castro County.

Apr. 16, 2015

Charles Hardin Camp, 73, of Abilene, was sentenced to 8 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice after being found guilty of False Entry or Failure to Enter Tax Records. Camp's sentence was suspended by the court and he will serve 8 years probation. The guilty verdict was returned by a jury in Taylor County on January 23, 2015. The offense is a third-degree felony. The case, filed as cause number 25,377-A, was prosecuted in Taylor County.

Julio Aguinaga, 39, of Dallas, pleaded guilty to the lesser included offense of Tampering with a Government Record, a Class A misdemeanor. He was originally indicted for False Information on a Vehicle Title. He was sentenced to 24 months deferred adjudication, a $500 fine, 80 hours of community service and $1,252 in restitution. The case, filed as cause number F-2014-0978-C, was prosecuted in Denton County.

Apr. 15, 2015

Ricky Wayne Moore, 48, of Lamesa, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. He was sentenced to 30 months deferred adjudication and $730 in restitution. Moore's case, filed as cause number 13-7287, was prosecuted in Dawson County.

Apr. 14, 2015

Melchor Muniz, 30, of Brownfield, pleaded guilty after previously being indicted for the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. He was sentenced to 7 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice suspended to 10 years probation and restitution jointly and severally with other co-defendants in the amount of $137,428.57. Muniz admitted to intentionally and knowingly evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax by concealing, using, and storing untaxed diesel fuel on which taxes imposed by Chapter 162 of the Tax Code were owed and not first paid or reported by a license holder. Muniz' case, filed as cause number 6749, was prosecuted in Terry County.

Apr. 9, 2015

Christopher M. Rawls, 38, of Teague, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication, a $500 fine, 192 hours of community service and $64,000 in restitution to the victim. Rawls' case, filed as cause number CM-13-430, was prosecuted in Leon County.

Apr. 8, 2015

Eduardo Enriquez, 31, of El Paso, pleaded guilty to the state jail felony offense of Temporary Tag for Distribution to Unauthorized Person. The punishment was reduced from a state jail felony to a Class A misdemeanor pursuant to Penal Code Section 12.44B. He was confined 20 days in the county jail. He was accused by indictment of producing or reproducing a temporary tag or an item represented to be a temporary tag for the purpose of distributing the tag to someone other than a motor vehicle dealer or converter, as defined in the Transportation Code. The case, filed as cause number 20140D05421, was prosecuted in El Paso County.

Apr. 2, 2015

Jose Perez-Sanchez, 43, of Houston, pleaded guilty to the first-degree felony offense of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity based upon his participation in a combination to commit violations of motor fuel tax requirements. He was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication and $6,899.89 in restitution to the victim. He also pleaded guilty to the state jail felony offense of Theft over $1,500 but less than $20,000 and was sentenced to 2 days in the county jail. Perez-Sanchez' case, filed under cause numbers 17,044 and 17,064, was prosecuted in Washington County.

January to March

Mar. 27, 2015

Arnulfo R. Aranda, 55, of Odessa, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Evades or Attempts to Evade Motor Fuel Tax. He was sentenced to 3 years of deferred adjudication, $1,000 fine and $1,091.80 in restitution. Aranda's case, filed as cause number D-48,094, was prosecuted in Ector County.

Mar. 26, 2015

Javish Gurung, 32, of Fort Worth, pleaded guilty to the Class A misdemeanor offense of Operating Coin-Operated Machines without a License. He was sentenced to 12 months deferred adjudication and a $500 fine. He was accused by Information of intentionally or knowingly operating a business with a skill or pleasure coin-operated machine without a general business license or registration certificate issued by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Gurung's case, filed as cause number 1397081, was prosecuted in Tarrant County.

Leonel Bedolla, Jr., 54, of Porter, pleaded guilty to the Class B misdemeanor offense of Obstructing Highway or Passageway and was sentenced to one year of deferred adjudication, a $2,000 fine and 40 hours of community service. He was originally indicted for the third-degree felony offense of Engaging in a Motor Fuel Transaction without a License and subsequently pleaded guilty to the reduced misdemeanor charge. Bedolla's case, filed as cause number 143308601010, was prosecuted in Harris County.

Mar. 24, 2015

Angeline Offord, 39, of Houston, was indicted by a Montgomery County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Transporting Motor Fuel without a Shipping Document. Offord's case, filed as cause number 14-02-01878, is pending prosecution in Montgomery County.

Mar. 23, 2015

Sarah Garcia, 49, of Tahoka, was indicted by a Lynn County Grand Jury for the third-degree felony offense of Forgery of a Title Application. Garcia was indicted on two counts of intentionally or knowingly providing false information on an application for a certificate of vehicle title. The case, filed as cause number 15-3174, is pending in Lynn County.

Rogelio Puig-Barrios, 55, of Austin, was sentenced to 10 years in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. The court suspended the sentence to 6 years probation, a $500 fine and 250 hours of community service restitution. He was also sentenced for the third-degree felony offense of Engaging in a Motor Fuel Transaction without a License to the same punishment as the second-degree felony to be served concurrently. Puig-Barrios pleaded guilty on February 9, 2015, to both felony offenses. Puig Barrios' cases, filed respectively as cause numbers D1DC14-201133 and D1DC14-301589, were prosecuted in Travis County.

Adam Ray York, 43, of Lake Worth, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 4 years deferred adjudication and a $400 fine. He admitted to intentionally or knowingly accepting a delivery of motor fuel and not receiving or accepting a shipping document relating to the delivery of the motor fuel. York's case, filed as cause number 1402791D, was prosecuted in Tarrant County.

Mar. 12, 2015

Ramon Aguero Jr., 30, of Dimmitt, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. He was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication and a $500 fine. He was accused of intentionally and knowingly evade and attempt to evade a tax imposed on motor fuel by Chapter 162 of the Texas Tax Code, by using and storing motor fuel within this State on which the taxes imposed by this chapter are owed but have not been first paid to a license holder; by permitting delivery of untaxed diesel fuel into motor vehicles for the operation of the motor vehicle on public highways. Aguero's case, filed as cause number A3551-1406, was prosecuted in Castro County.


Feb. 6, 2015

Thong Van Nguyen, 64, of Arlington, was arrested after being indicted by a Tarrant County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Nguyen is accused of intentionally or knowingly accepting a delivery of motor fuel by any means and did not at the same time accept or receive a shipping document relating to the delivery. Nguyen's case, filed as cause number 1401820D, is pending in Tarrant County District Court.

Raymond Dennis Regnal, 66, of Fort Worth, was arrested after being indicted by a Tarrant County Grand Jury for the second-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements of which he is accused of intentionally or knowingly transporting motor fuel without having a shipping document relating to the delivery. He is also accused of the third-degree felony offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements in which he intentionally or knowingly transported motor fuel to a location in Tarrant County without delivering at the same time a shipping document relating to that shipment. Regnal's case, filed as cause number 1401816D, is pending in Tarrant County District Court.

Andrew Reynolds, 47, of Waxahachie, was arrested after being indicted by a Tarrant County Grand Jury for the first-degree felony offense of engaging in organized criminal activity and the third-degree offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Reynolds is accused of establishing, maintaining, or participating in a combination to commit theft, by unlawfully appropriating, by acquiring or otherwise exercising control over property, motor fuel, of the value of $100,000 or more, but less than $200,000, with the intent to deprive the owner of the property. The second count in the indictment accuses Reynolds of intentionally or knowingly transporting motor fuel to a location in Tarrant County without delivering at the same time a shipping document relating to that shipment. Reynolds' case, filed as cause number 1401818D, is pending in Tarrant County District Court.

Samuel Kimbrough, 56, of Keller, was arrested after being indicted by a Tarrant County Grand Jury for the first-degree felony offense of engaging in organized criminal activity, and the second-degree and third-degree felony offenses of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Kimbrough is accused of establishing, maintaining, or participating in a combination to commit theft, by unlawfully appropriating, by acquiring or otherwise exercising control over property, motor fuel, of the value of $100,000 or more, but less than $200,000, with the intent to deprive the owner of the property. He is accused in the second count of the indictment of intentionally or knowingly transporting motor fuel without having a shipping document relating to the delivery. The third count in the indictment accuses Kimbrough of intentionally or knowingly transporting motor fuel to a location in Tarrant County without delivering at the same time a shipping document relating to that shipment. Reynolds' case, filed as cause number 1401815D, is pending in Tarrant County District Court.

Herman Cade, 45, of Fort Worth, was arrested after being indicted by a Tarrant County Grand Jury for the first-degree felony offense of engaging in organized criminal activity and the third-degree offense of Violation of Motor Fuel Tax Requirements. Cade is accused of establishing, maintaining, or participating in a combination to commit theft, by unlawfully appropriating, by acquiring or otherwise exercising control over property, motor fuel, of the value of $100,000 or more, but less than $200,000, with the intent to deprive the owner of the property. The second count in the indictment accuses Cade of intentionally or knowingly transporting motor fuel to a location in Tarrant County without delivering at the same time a shipping document relating to that shipment. Cade's case, filed as cause number 1401819D, is pending in Tarrant County District Court.

Feb. 3, 2015

Blas Medelez, Jr., 41, of Plains, pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. He was sentenced to 2 years deferred adjudication, $421.90 in restitution, 140 hours of community service, and ordered to attend a theft intervention program. He admitted to intentionally and knowingly evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax by concealing, using, and storing untaxed diesel fuel on which taxes imposed by Chapter 162 of the Tax Code were owed and not first paid or reported by a license holder. The case, filed as cause number 6745, was prosecuted in Terry County.

Feb. 2, 2015

Janet Cam Lam, 48, of Fort Worth, pleaded guilty to the Class A misdemeanor offense of Gift to a Public Servant by Person in His Jurisdiction. She was sentenced to 2 years deferred adjudication and a $200 fine. She was originally indicted for Bribery before accepting a plea to the lessor included offense. Lam's case, filed as cause number 1362499D, was prosecuted in Tarrant County.


Jan. 23, 2015

Juan Valorias Mesa, 42, of Houston, was arrested after being indicted by a Washington County Grand Jury for Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity relating to Evading Motor Fuel Tax, a first-degree felony. Mesa is accused of having the intent to establish, maintain, and participate in a combination and in the profits of a combination of three persons who collaborated in carrying out the offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. The indictment alleges that the defendant and others agreed with each other that one or more of them would engage in conduct that constituted the offense, and the defendant and one or more of them performed one or more overt acts in furtherance of the agreement. The case, filed as cause number 17041, is pending in Washington County. A second indictment, cause number 17042, is pending against Mesa for a related motor fuel tax violation.

Jan. 15, 2015

Barbaro Borrero, 42, of Austin, was arrested after being indicted by a Travis County Grand Jury for three motor fuel tax felonies on December 15, 2014. Borrero is accused of Evading Motor Fuel Tax, a second-degree felony; Transporting Fuel without Shipping Documents, a second-degree felony; and Engaging in a Motor Fuel Transaction without a Motor Fuel Transporter License, a third-degree felony. Borerro's cases, filed as cause numbers D1DC14-900207, -8, and -9, are pending in Travis County.

David Lee Hernandez, 21, of Henderson, entered a plea of guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. Hernandez was accused in court documents of committing the offense by engaging in motor fuel transactions without a license. Hernandez was sentenced to 3 years deferred adjudication, and was ordered to perform 300 hours of community service, pay a $2,500 fine, and serve 30 days in the Midland County Jail. The case, filed as cause number CR44038, was prosecuted in Midland County.

Francisco Javier Aguero, 35, of Dimmitt, pled guilty to the second-degree felony offense of Evading Motor Fuel Tax. Aguero admitted to intentionally and knowingly evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax by using and storing untaxed dyed diesel fuel within Texas when such taxes were owed but not paid to a license holder, and by permitting the delivery of such fuel into a motor vehicle for use on a public highway. He was sentenced to 5 years of deferred adjudication, and ordered to pay a $2,500 fine and perform 400 hours of community service. The case, filed as cause number A3550-1406, was prosecuted in Castro County District Court.

Jan. 12, 2015

Zachary Laine Taylor, 35, of Buffalo, pled guilty to Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity relating to Evading Motor Fuel Tax, a first-degree felony. Taylor admitted to knowingly and intentionally engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, while having the intent to establish, maintain, and participate in a combination and in the profits of a combination of three or more persons. Taylor was sentenced to 3 years of deferred adjudication, and was ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution to victim Byron Ryder on the day of sentencing, perform 100 hours of community service, and testify truthfully against all co-defendants. The case, filed as cause number CM-13-432, was prosecuted in Leon County.

Jan. 7, 2015

Fernando Baca, 57, of El Paso, was convicted of State Jail Felony Theft in a case involving over $1800 of motor fuel. Baca was sentenced to 1 year in the State Jail Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, probated for 2 years, was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and was ordered to pay $250 in restitution to the victim. Baca's case, filed as cause number 20140DO4540, was prosecuted in El Paso County.

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