Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
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Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
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Breaking the state's laws is a losing proposition. Read about those who found that out the hard way.

2023

April - June

April 28

Muhammad Naseer Khan, 52, of McKinney was arrested for allegedly possessing tobacco and e-cigarette products without state-issued permits.

An investigation confirmed that the suspect failed to keep accurate records for four years as required and possessed tobacco products without a permit posted. The investigation also determined that Khan received, possessed and sold e-cigarettes without having a permit.

Khan is charged with a cigars and tobacco products tax books and records violation, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. He is also charged with failure to have a tobacco permit and failure to have an E-cigarette permit, both Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Grayson County.

April 27

Miguel Daniel Camejo-Suarez, 28, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded gift cards to illegally purchase and conceal 111 gallons of diesel worth $330.

A Waller County district judge sentenced the defendant to 34 days in jail, and he was credited with 34 days’ jail time served.

Camelo-Suarez admitted to the lesser included offense of concealing motor fuel, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both. The three charges of motor fuel tax evasion, transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck) were dismissed.

In February 2019, an investigation revealed a store employee observing the defendant conduct a fraudulent transaction at the pump. Investigators discovered a black fuel bladder in the bed of Camelo-Suarez’s truck and located 15 counterfeit cards used to purchase the fuel. Upon further investigation, the defendant’s vehicle was outfitted with auxiliary pumps and nozzles to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

April 23

Obisike Ubani, 43, of Fort Worth was arrested for allegedly failing to pay motor vehicle sales tax and fees to the county tax assessor. An investigation revealed that the suspect allegedly failed to remit the taxes collected on motor vehicle sales and fees on titles and registrations to the county tax assessor from December 2021 through June 2022.

Ubani is charged with failure to remit taxes collected by a motor vehicle dealer of $20,000 or more but less than $100,000 and misapplication of fiduciary property valued at $30,000 or more but less than $150,000. Both charges are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

April 19

Clarence Galo Ulat, 50, of Denver, Colorado was indicted for allegedly impersonating a public servant.

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

An investigation revealed that the defendant presented himself as a Comptroller’s office employee and tried to gain access to a restricted area at the Port of Houston. Ulat also had an active arrest warrant for impersonating a Texas Ranger. He further identified himself as a Comptroller’s office employee to a CID officer conducting an investigation, and he was also charged in this incident.

The case is pending prosecution in Liberty County.

April 18

Roaldis Alejo Cespedes, 41, of Irving; Ramon Perez-Torres, 29, of Mesquite; Duniesky Ondarza Gonzalez, 36; Camila Cruz Concepcion, 25; and Yasel Gonzalez Valdivia, 33, of Dallas were indicted for allegedly using stolen credit card information to illegally obtain large amounts of motor fuel.

The defendants are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

From June to August 2022, an investigation revealed that the defendants manipulated the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. Each of their vehicles were modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Smith County.

April 11

Bikal Dhakal, 37, of Euless was arrested for allegedly possessing e-cigarette products without the state-issued permit.

An investigation revealed that suspect received, possessed and sold e-cigarettes without having a permit.

Dahkal is charged with failure to have an E-cigarette permit, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Collin County.

April 7

Gary Wayne Little, 34, of Gainesville was arrested for allegedly acquiring and unlawfully appropriating 100 gallons of diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed the suspect evading motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax as required for illegally appropriating diesel fuel and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents.

Little is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents and evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Cooke County.

April 6

Raju Lama, 41, of Erath was arrested for allegedly possessing untaxed tobacco products.

A retail tobacco inspection revealed that the suspect displayed cigarettes, cigars and E-cig products for sale and did not have the required state-issued permits when confronted by the investigator. During questioning, Lama admitted that he did not possess any tobacco invoices.

Lama is charged with a books and records violation, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Erath County.

April 5

Hoon Seop IM, 40, of Harrison was arrested for allegedly possessing untaxed tobacco products.

A retail tobacco inspection revealed several bags of loose pipe tobacco displayed for sale behind the counter. The suspect admitted that he purchased the tobacco from two unauthorized, out-of-state tobacco distributors.

IM is charged with two counts of possession of tobacco products with tax due along with books and records violation, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Harrison County.

Lazaro Mendez-Calderon, 32, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully appropriating 225 gallons of diesel fuel worth $1,095.

An investigation revealed the suspect manipulating the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to deliver fuel into a concealed auxiliary fuel tank in the bed of the truck. The vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel. Mendez-Calderon did not have permits for the fuel.

Mendez-Calderon is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents and evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. He is also charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Grayson County.

April 4

Brandon Joe Cheek, 39, of Spring pleaded guilty to short loading large amounts of diesel fuel from his employer, a Cypress motor fuel distributor.

A Harris County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced him to two years’ probation. He was also ordered to pay $7,000 in restitution along with $335 in court costs and fees.

Cheek admitted to theft in an aggregate amount over $2,500 but less than $30,000, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months to two years and a fine up to $10,000. The motor fuel tax fraud offense of forgery, falsifying or altering an invoice was dismissed in the plea agreement. In July 2022, a private investigator conducted surveillance on the defendant and observed him dispensing fuel to individuals on roadsides and parking lots. Video surveillance provided to the company confirmed his illegal activities on numerous occasions.

April 1

Ivan Gomez-Zayas, 29, of Houston was indicted for allegedly acquiring and illegally appropriating 167 gallons of diesel fuel.

Gomez-Zayas 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 a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed the defendant manipulating the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Rodney Wayne Cheatham, 38, of Spring was indicted for allegedly purchasing stolen, short-loaded diesel fuel from an employee of a fuel distributor.

Cheatham is charged with accepting motor fuel delivery without shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Video surveillance revealed the defendant receiving stolen fuel dispensed into his vehicle from a motor fuel delivery driver. Cheatham was identified through further investigation.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Michael Brannon Hilbert, 38, of Houston was indicted for allegedly purchasing stolen, short-loaded diesel fuel from an employee of a fuel distributor.

Hilbert is charged with accepting motor fuel delivery without shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Video surveillance revealed the defendant receiving stolen fuel dispensed into his vehicle from a motor fuel delivery driver. Hilbert was identified through further investigation.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Nicolas Miguel Quinones, 37, of Houston pleaded guilty to unlawfully obtaining 526 gallons of diesel fuel from a Colorado City convenience store.

A Mitchell County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication. Quinones was sentenced to three years’ probation and required to perform 160 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $4,500, $4,282 in restitution and $605 in court costs and fees.

Quinones admitted to evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, tampering/fabricating physical evidence with the intent to impair and electronic access interference, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In November and December 2021, surveillance videos showed the defendant at the location with his truck tractor manipulating several pumps to illegally acquire the fuel. He used an electronic device to place the pumps into maintenance mode while allowing the pumps to dispense the fuel without any transaction details.

May 31

Jose Antonio Mederos Gomez, 28, of Fort Worth was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to acquire and illegally appropriate 257 gallons of diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed the suspect evading motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax as required for illegally appropriating diesel fuel by using several counterfeit cards to purchase the fuel.

Gomez is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Parker County.

May 30

Guravtar Singh, 39, of Fort Worth was arrested for allegedly possessing untaxed tobacco products.

A retail tobacco inspection revealed several bags of loose tobacco displayed for sale on shelves within the common general store area making the tobacco easily accessible to minors. The inspection further determined that the tobacco was purchased from an unlicensed tobacco distributor in Illinois.

Singh is charged with possession of untaxed tobacco products along with books and records violation, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Hood County.

May 26

Joxan Santos Legon, 43, of Miami, Fla., and Julio Benitez Hernandez, 30, of Tampa, Fla., were arrested for allegedly acquiring and illegally appropriating diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed the suspects manipulating the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax by receiving, transporting and dispensing motor fuel. Investigators also determined that Legon and Hernandez were engaging in a continuing scheme or course of conduct in furtherance of criminal activity.

Legon and Hernandez are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Bowie County.

May 23

Yolday Feria Gomez, 39, of Irving was arrested for allegedly acquiring and illegally appropriating 248 gallons of diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed the suspect manipulating the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax by receiving, transporting and dispensing large quantities of motor fuel.

Gomez is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

May 18

Roberto Ariel Torres-Carralero, 55, of Hialeah Gardens, Fla., pleaded guilty to motor fuel tax evasion.

A Midland County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced him to five years’ probation. He was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service and pay a $1,500 fine along with $290 in court costs and fees.

Torres-Carralero admitted to motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In 2016, an investigation revealed that the defendant manipulated the fuel pump’s pulsar device to steal diesel fuel worth over $67,000 to evade motor fuel tax. Torres-Carralero was using a recreational vehicle and two modified pickups to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

May 16

Tomas Enriquez, Jr., 31, of Waxahachie was arrested for allegedly falsifying information on government records related to vehicle sales.

An investigation revealed the suspect admitting to recording an incorrect sales price and seller information on a title application submitted to the tax assessor’s office. Enriquez also stated that the vehicle was sold privately to the buyer for a higher price than what was documented on the title.

Enriquez is charged with false name, false information and forgery, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Ellis County.

May 15

William Marshall Trimble, 34, of Weatherford was arrested for allegedly unlawfully obtaining and selling 70 gallons of diesel fuel for $80.

An investigation revealed the suspect evading motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax as required for illegally appropriating diesel fuel by transporting the stolen fuel to an individual’s residence and offloading the fuel into an external fuel tank located on the property.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Parker County.

May 5

Harney Sosa Rodriguez, 45, of Dumas pleaded guilty to using re-encoded credit cards to illegally obtain 110 gallons of diesel fuel from an Amarillo gas station.

A Potter County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced him to eight years’ probation. He was ordered to pay $1,020 in court costs.

Rodriguez admitted to evading or attempting to evade tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000; unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000; and credit/debit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months to two years and a fine up to $10,000.

In November 2020, video surveillance showed the defendant purchasing the fuel using stolen credit card information, according to reports. Officers arrested Rodriguez and confiscated three counterfeit credit cards in his possession. His vehicle had been modified and equipped to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel from an auxiliary tank bolted to the truck bed.

May 4

Clinton Dale Sullivan, Jr., 46, of Granbury was arrested for allegedly acquiring and unlawfully selling approximately 500 gallons of untaxed, red-dyed diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed the suspect illegally obtaining the large amount of red-dyed diesel fuel from his employer and selling the fuel to another business for financial gain.

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.

Sullivan is charged with engaging in motor fuel transport without a license along with transporting motor fuel with no cargo manifest, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Hood County.

Phillip Martin Garrison, 54, of Argyle pleaded guilty to failing to pay motor vehicle sales taxes collected.

A Dallas County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced him to two years’ probation. He was ordered to perform 80 hours of community service and pay a $1,500 fine along with $270 in court costs.

Garrison admitted to failing to remit taxes collected by a motor vehicle dealer of $1,500 or more but less than $20,000, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine up to $10,000. The felony was reduced to a Class A misdemeanor which is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

An investigation revealed that the defendant did not pay the county tax assessor-collector taxes totaling over $6,000 from April 2015 to September 2019.

May 1

Matthew Thomas Sanchez, 38, of Las Cruces, N.M., was indicted for allegedly possessing untaxed tobacco products.

Sanchez is charged with two counts of transportation of tobacco products and two counts of possession of tobacco products with tax due, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. During a tobacco tax inspection, invoices revealed that the defendant purchased and possessed tobacco products from an unpermitted Texas tobacco distributor or wholesaler. Sanchez also admitted that the tobacco products were transported from his store in Las Cruces to another business in El Paso, Texas.

The case is pending prosecution in El Paso County.

Yasmanis Gutierrez Gonzalez, 34, of Austin pleaded guilty to using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain approximately 45 gallons of diesel fuel from two Killeen service stations.

A Bell County district judge sentenced the defendant to two years in prison probated for four years. He was ordered to perform 250 hours of community service and pay a $500 fine.

Gonzalez admitted to 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, and fraudulent use/possession of identifying information of less than five items, 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 July 2019, investigators observed the defendant illegally acquiring diesel fuel from two different gas stations. Investigators also located three counterfeit cards in a trashcan next to the last pump that Gonzalez tried to use. One of the cards was used to obtain the fuel.

Robert Smith, 67, of Waxahachie pleaded guilty to possessing e-cigarette products without a state-issued permit.

An Ellis County judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced him to six months’ probation. He was ordered to pay $285 in court costs and was credited with one day jail time served.

Smith admitted to failing to have an E-cigarette permit, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

An investigation determined that the defendant received, possessed and sold e-cigarettes without having a permit.

June 27

Daniel Baez Marrero, 28, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded credit cards to fraudulently obtain diesel fuel.

A Harris County district judge sentenced the defendant to two years’ probation, and he was ordered to pay $270 in court costs.

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

In February 2020, during a joint surveillance operation, investigators witnessed the defendant illegally purchasing fuel. After Marrero departed the gas station, a subsequent traffic stop by local police found that he did not have any permits or licenses. The defendant’s vehicle had a modified tank mounted in the truck bed along with hoses, nozzles and meters designed to receive, transport and dispense fuel. Investigators also located 12 counterfeit cards.

June 26

Gleiber Rodriguez-Lopez, 34, of Irving was arrested for allegedly obtaining and illegally appropriating 910 gallons of diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed the suspect manipulated the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax by receiving, transporting and dispensing motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents.

Rodriguez-Lopez is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents and evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

June 23

Ernan Ricardo Abreu-Roque, 38, of Fort Worth was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully purchase 178 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store.

An investigation determined the suspect used counterfeit cards to illegally acquire the fuel and evade motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax.

Abreu-Roque is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Parker County.

June 23

Hazem Mohammad Khorchid, 37, of Grand Prairie was arrested for allegedly possessing counterfeit e-cigarette products.

An investigator conducted a tobacco distributor inspection, and during the inspection, the investigator identified and seized numerous cases of counterfeit e-cigarettes.

Khorchid is charged with trademark counterfeiting of $2,500 or more but less than $30,000, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months to two years and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

June 17

Alexander Banguela-Perez, 47, of Overton, Neb.; Yoandri Lopez Lorenzo, 32, of Dallas; Yudayis Manzanet, 37, of Miami, Fla.; and Ramon Perez-Torres, 39, of Mesquite were indicted for allegedly acquiring and illegally appropriating diesel fuel from multiple counties in Texas.

The defendants are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed the defendants manipulated numerous fuel pumps’ pulsar devices and used stolen credit card information to obtain the fuel. Their vehicles were modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Smith County.

Dan Gonzalez, 33, of Houston was indicted for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully storing diesel fuel from a gas station.

Gonzalez is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. An investigation found the defendant used different minivans to steal diesel fuel directly from underground storage tanks. The vehicles were modified with fuel tanks and pumps. Gonzalez was identified through various investigative means.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

June 17

Yoan Alberto Norbet Rosales, 32, of Addison was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded debit/credit cards to fraudulently obtain 150 gallons of diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed the suspect used counterfeit cards to unlawfully purchase the fuel. Rosales’s vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents.

Rosales 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 a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

June 15

Dayan Rafael Perez Herrera, 35, of Houston was arrested for allegedly acquiring and illegally appropriating 183 gallons of diesel fuel.

A Department of Public Safety trooper responded to a fuel theft in progress call and observed Herrera pumping fuel into the driver’s side fuel tank. The trooper conducted a traffic stop and the suspect fled the scene. Herrera was located and placed into custody. A CID investigator conducted a motor fuel tax compliance inspection on the truck, which uncovered four 275-gallon plastic tote containers with fuel. An investigation determined the suspect used a stolen fleet card to dispense untaxed diesel fuel into those tote containers located in the rear compartment of his vehicle.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Ector County.

June 9

Duniel Tio Rodriguez, 26, of Odessa was arrested for allegedly possessing and unlawfully appropriating diesel fuel.

A motor fuel tax compliance inspection revealed the suspect concealing two plastic tote containers with diesel fuel in the back of a modified cargo van. The investigation found Rodriguez transferred the fuel from the vehicle into three 300-gallon plastic tote containers located at a residence. He did not have a cargo manifest to receive, transport or dispense the fuel.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Midland County.

June 5

Matthew Andrew Bielecki, 26, of Allen was arrested for allegedly possessing tobacco products without the posted permits and operating coin-operated amusement machines without a license or certificate.

A general inspection conducted at the suspect’s business confirmed that Bielecki had five re-sealed amusement machines at the location and was no longer permitted to own or operate amusement machines. A cigarette and tobacco retail inspection also found that he did not have permits posted in public view for possessing tobacco, cigarette or e-cigarette products. Bielecki also failed to provide inventory records.

Bielecki is charged with books and records violations for tobacco and cigarettes, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, along with operating coin-operated amusement machines without a license or certificate and receiving/possessing e-cigarettes, cigarettes and tobacco without the permits posted visible to the public, all Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

June 3

Gurdatar Singh Sandhu, 69, of Fort Worth was arrested for allegedly possessing untaxed tobacco products.

A retail tobacco inspection revealed several bags of loose tobacco displayed for sale on shelves within the common general store area, making the tobacco easily accessible to minors. The inspection further determined that the tobacco was purchased from an unlicensed tobacco distributor in Illinois.

Sandhu is charged with possession of untaxed tobacco products along with books and records violation, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Hood County.

June 2

Yander Alvarez, 33, of Lewisville pleaded guilty to acquiring and illegally appropriating 930 gallons of diesel fuel.

A Wichita County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication. Alvarez was sentenced to six years’ probation and ordered to pay $6,000 in restitution, along with $455 in court costs and fees. His sentence will be served concurrently.

Alvarez admitted to transporting motor fuel without shipping documents and evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed the defendant evading motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax as required for illegally appropriating diesel fuel and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents.

June 1

Tolupole Balogun, 39, of Royce City was arrested for allegedly falsifying information on government records related to vehicle sales.

An investigation revealed the suspect recorded incorrect sales prices on title applications submitted to the county tax assessor’s office.

Balogun is charged with four counts of signing a false statement or certificate and false name, false information and forgery. All eight counts are third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Collin County.

Dennis Serrano Gandul, 39, of Odessa was arrested for allegedly evading motor fuel tax.

An investigation revealed that two saddle tanks on the suspect’s semi-truck had blended diesel fuel products to expand the volume of the fuel. A motor fuel tax compliance inspection confirmed the investigator had observed a black tint in the tanks. Gandul reported that he poured engine oil into the tanks for better gas mileage.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Ector County.

Pedro Lago, 40, of Hialeah, Fla., was arrested for allegedly transporting and illegally appropriating 200 gallons of diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed the suspect’s vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents.

Lago 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 a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Leduan Brito Barrios, 37, of Grand Prairie was arrested for allegedly transporting motor fuel in an unlawful manner.

An investigation revealed the suspect’s vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of motor fuel.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Oscar Olivares, 37, of Grand Prairie was arrested for allegedly transporting and illegally appropriating 300 gallons of diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed the suspect’s vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents. Olivares was observed behind a commercial building offloading the diesel fuel into a storage tote inside a trailer.

Barrios 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 a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Sultan Masud Mohmand, 61, of Fort Worth was indicted for allegedly possessing untaxed tobacco products.

Mohmand is charged with a books and records violation and possession of tobacco with tax due, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

A retail tobacco inspection revealed the suspect possessing numerous bags of loose pipe tobacco without providing invoices as required by a records demand. Mohmand reported he could not recall where the tobacco was purchased.

The case is pending prosecution in Parker County.

Randy Neal Bryan, 66, of Katy was indicted for allegedly falsifying information on government records.

Bryan is charged with two counts of signing false statements/certificates and false information on an exemption certificate of $750 or more but less than $20,000, all third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed the defendant falsified a title application for the purchase of two off-road vehicles using a Texas Agriculture Exemption Certificate that was not issued to him. Bryan also knowingly made a false entry on the exemption certificate to avoid paying taxes.

The case is pending prosecution in Chambers County.

Alfredo Hechavarria Fonteboa, 35, of Addison was indicted for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully appropriating 269 gallons of diesel fuel.

Fonteboa is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by to two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed the defendant evaded motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax as required for illegally appropriating diesel fuel and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest. Fonteboa’s vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Denton County.

Abel Alberto Rodriguez-Gaytan, 29, of Dallas was indicted for allegedly transporting diesel fuel without the proper documentation.

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

An investigation revealed the defendant unlawfully used a criminal instrument to transport motor fuel without a cargo manifest. Rodriguez-Gaytan’s vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Yordan Ajete, 39, of Port Richey, Fla., Leosvani Hernandez-Ramos, 24, of Dallas and Yosvel Garcia Moya, 24, of Plano were indicted for allegedly acquiring and illegally appropriating 49 gallons of diesel fuel.

Ajete and Moya are charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Hernandez-Ramos 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 a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed the defendants evaded motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax as required for illegally appropriating diesel fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

January - March

January 30

Roaldis Alejo Cespedes, 41, of Irving; Duniesky Ondarza Gonzalez, 36; Camila Cruz Concepcion, 25; and Yasel Gonzalez Valdivia, 33, of Dallas were arrested for allegedly using stolen credit card information to illegally obtain large amounts of motor fuel.

From June to September 2022, an investigation revealed that the suspects also manipulated the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. Each of their vehicles were modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

The suspects are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Smith County.

Raul Milanes-Lahera, 49, of San Antonio pleaded guilty to using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully purchase diesel fuel from a chain convenience store.

A Fort Bend County district judge sentenced the defendant to 2 years in prison probated for two years; ordered to perform 100 hours of community service; and pay a fine of $1,000 along with a letter of apology.

Milanes-Lahera admitted to credit or debit card abuse punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months to two years and a fine up to $10,000. The fuel tax and unlawful use of a criminal instrument felony offenses were dismissed in a plea agreement.

In April 2019, a store employee witnessed the defendant using counterfeit cards to illegally obtain diesel fuel. Local police stopped and identified Milanes-Lahera. During the vehicle stop, an investigation revealed that his vehicle was outfitted with a modified tank mounted and welded in the bed of the truck, complete with hoses and nozzles.

January 25

Matthew Ian Kelton, 25, of Euless was arrested for allegedly falsifying information on government records related to vehicle sales.

An investigation revealed that the suspect submitted numerous false entries on vehicle inventory tax forms and filed them on different occasions with the Bosque County Tax Assessor. Kelton is charged with three counts of tampering with a governmental record, felonies punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months to two years and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Bosque County.

Froilan Mujica Garcia, 33, of Austin was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain 45 gallons of diesel fuel worth $93 from a convenience store in Salado.

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

An investigator observed the defendant illegally acquiring diesel fuel. During a subsequent traffic stop conducted by local police and the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts’ Criminal Investigation Division (CID), an inspection revealed an approximately 150-gallon tank in the back seat of the truck, concealed as a covered bench seat. Nineteen counterfeit cards were recovered after Garcia consented to a vehicle search.

The Salado Police Department assisted CID with the traffic stop. The case is pending prosecution in Bell County.

Luis Doval-Hernandez, 23, of Grand Prairie and Rafael Basulto-Rubio, 54, of Desoto pleaded guilty to unlawfully appropriating diesel fuel.

A Dallas County district judge sentenced the defendants to 10 years in prison probated to three years. They were also ordered to pay $286 in court costs along with a fine of $2,000 that was probated.

Doval-Hernandez and Basulto-Rubio admitted to evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In November 2022, an investigation revealed that the defendants manipulated the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax.

January 23

Roberto Ledesma, 37, of Houston was indicted for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully purchasing 91 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Stafford.

Ledesma is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. An investigation revealed that the defendant manipulated the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. Ledesma’s flatbed truck was modified to hold a fuel tank that possibly held a few hundred gallons. The vehicle was equipped with an electric pump, hose, nozzle and meter.

The case is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

January 22

Leonel Escalante Machin, 35, of Plano was arrested for allegedly obtaining and illegally appropriating 1,700 gallons of diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed that the suspect manipulated the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax at a Springtown convenience store.

Machin is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Parker County.

January 20

Jesus Diaz Hernandez, 51, of Dallas was indicted for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully appropriating 255 gallons of diesel fuel worth $1,307.

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

An investigation revealed that Hernandez manipulated the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. The fuel was dispensed into an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of a truck operated by the defendant.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

January 18

Yosdel Sausdre-Fenea, 34; Raudel Rodriguez-Lebran, 47; and Yunisan Drake- Jardines, 29, all of Irving, were arrested for allegedly acquiring and illegally appropriating 750 gallons of diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed that the suspects manipulated the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. The three are charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

January 17

Jorge Felix Lopez-Barroso, 30, of Houston was indicted for allegedly acquiring and illegally appropriating 450 gallons of diesel fuel.

Lopez-Barroso is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second- degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed the defendant evading motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax as required for illegally appropriating diesel fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Juan Carlos Rodriguez-Lozada, 28, of Dallas pleaded guilty to using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully appropriate 92 gallons of diesel fuel.

A Dallas County district judge sentenced the defendant to 10 years in prison and to pay a fine of $2,000 along with $286 in court costs. Rodriguez-Lozada’s prison sentence was probated to three years in lieu of the prison sentence and fine.

Rodriguez-Lozada admitted to motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In May 2022, an investigation revealed the defendant using a counterfeit card to illegally obtain diesel fuel and make fraudulent purchases. The fuel was delivered into aftermarket fuel tanks concealed in two vehicles.

January 13

Carlos Maldonado, Jr., 40, of McAllen was indicted for allegedly possessing untaxed tobacco products.

Maldonado is charged with possession of tobacco with tax due, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendant purchased and possessed untaxed tobacco products from four unpermitted distributors with the intent to evade tax being paid from February 2020 through July 2021. The case is pending prosecution in Hidalgo County.

January 12

Luis Enrique Chavarria, 26, of Midland was indicted for allegedly storing untaxed, red- dyed diesel fuel.

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

During a motor fuel tax inspection of the defendant’s residence, an investigator confirmed that two red and white tractor trailers’ supply tanks had approximately 60 and 90 gallons of dyed diesel. The investigation also revealed that Chavarria had two 300- gallon totes that contained dyed diesel. One tote contained approximately 275 gallons, and the other tote held 50 gallons. A records search revealed he did not have a permit for the dyed diesel.

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 Midland County.

January 10

Nada Albasry, 39, of Waco was arrested for allegedly possessing e-cigarette products without the state-issued permit.

An investigation determined that the suspect received, possessed and sold e-cigarettes without having a permit.

Albasry is charged with failure to have an e-cigarette permit, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in McLennan County.

January 5

Stephen Leroy Thornton, 72, of Dallas pleaded no contest to tampering with a governmental record.

A Dallas County district judge sentenced the defendant to 12 months probation.

An investigation revealed that the suspect committed the offenses of obtaining a license by fraud and tampering with governmental records by intentionally submitting falsified Texas Renewal Application for Coin-Operated Machines and General Business License/Application for Additional Tax Permits. He did this to obtain 40 tax permits/license decals for his amusement machines.

Frank Dayan Perez Reyes, 33, of Venus pleaded guilty to attempting to evade motor fuel tax. A Tarrant County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced him to five years’ probation. He was also ordered to pay $355 in court costs and fees.

Reyes admitted to evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. A case of engaging in organized criminal activity and other motor fuel tax code violations against him were waived as part of a plea agreement.

An investigation revealed the defendant transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents with the intent to establish, maintain or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination by evading motor fuel tax.

Javiel Fernandez Gutierrez, 32, of Dallas pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a criminal instrument.

A Tarrant County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced him to two years’ probation. He was also ordered to pay $355 in court costs and fees and to perform 160 hours of community service.

Gutierrez admitted to unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., flatbed dually pickup), a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months to two years and a fine up to $10,000. All counts and motor fuel tax code violations against him were waived as part of a plea agreement.

In February 2021, an investigation revealed the defendant evading motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax as required for illegally appropriating and transporting 33 gallons of diesel without a cargo manifest. Gutierrez’s vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

Yudiel Infante Garcia, 41, of Irving pleaded guilty to fraudulent use or possession of identifying information.

A Tarrant County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced him to two years’ probation. He was also ordered to pay $355 in court costs and fees and to perform 120 hours of community service.

Garcia admitted to fraudulent use or possession of identifying information, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months to two years and a fine up to $10,000. All charges and motor fuel tax code violations against him were waived as part of a plea agreement.

In February 2021, an investigation revealed the defendant evading motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax as required for illegally appropriating and transporting 50 gallons of diesel without a cargo manifest. Garcia’s vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel. January 3

Juan Carlos Rodriguez, 28, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly obtaining and illegally appropriating 313 gallons of diesel fuel worth $848 from a chain convenience store.

An investigation revealed the suspect dispensing diesel fuel from an underground storage tank into an auxiliary fuel tank concealed inside the cargo area of the van. The vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

Rodriguez is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second- degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., passenger van), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Ellis County.

Bruce Allen Marshall, 45, and Justin Mathis, 27, both of Levelland were indicted for allegedly obtaining large amounts of diesel fuel from a storage tank.

Marshall and Mathis are 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 a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed the defendants entering the premises and Marshall dispensing diesel fuel into the vehicle’s gas tank and two plastic barrels. Marshall and Mathis abandoned the pickup truck after the vehicle broke down. A motor fuel tax compliance inspection determined that fuel samples extracted from the two plastic barrels contained diesel fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Hockley County.

Onnis Alvarez Rubio, 51, of Dallas pleaded guilty to illegally appropriating 231 gallons of diesel fuel.

A Dallas County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced him to two years’ probation. He was also ordered to pay $286 in court costs.

Rubio admitted to transporting motor fuel without shipping documents and evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In June 2020, an investigation revealed the defendant evading motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax as required for transporting motor fuel without shipping documents. Rubio did not have a permit for fuel transactions. His vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

Angel Pena Palermo, 31, of Addison pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawfully appropriating diesel fuel.

A Dallas County district judge sentenced the defendant to two years in prison. The two sentences will be served concurrently. He was also ordered to pay $286 in court costs and was credited with 189 days’ jail time served.

Palermo admitted to transporting motor fuel without shipping documents and evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendant manipulated the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax.

Feb. 28

Sultan Masud Mohmand, 60, of Fort Worth was arrested for allegedly possessing untaxed tobacco products.

A retail tobacco inspection revealed the suspect possessing numerous bags of loose pipe tobacco without providing invoices as required by a records demand. Mohmand advised that he could not recall where the tobacco was purchased.

Mohmand is charged with a books and records violation along with possession of tobacco with tax due, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Parker County.

Feb. 26

Rando Betancourt Barco, 42, of Houston was arrested for allegedly acquiring and unlawfully appropriating 15 gallons of diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed that the suspect’s vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents.

Barco 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 a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., dually pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Feb. 21

Jorge Felix Lopez-Barroso, 30, of Houston pleaded guilty to acquiring and illegally appropriating 450 gallons of diesel fuel.

A Harris County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced him to two years’ probation. He was ordered to perform 20 hours of community service and pay $315 in court costs and fees.

Lopez-Barroso admitted to evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. In October 2022, an investigation revealed the defendant evading motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax as required for illegally appropriating diesel fuel.

Feb. 18

Mostafa Mohmand, 37, Saginaw was arrested for allegedly operating coin-operated amusement machines without a license or certificate.

During an inspection, an investigator found nine, eight-liner coin-operated amusement machines. An investigation determined that the suspect owned and displayed the coin-operated amusement machines without a general business license or registration certificate.

Mohmand is charged with operating coin-operated amusement machines without a license or registration certificate, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Feb. 16

Kenier Martinez Maceo, 38, of San Antonio and Miguel Alberto Pupo Remond, 32, of Katy were arrested for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully acquiring 338 gallons of diesel fuel worth $1,262 from a chain convenience store.

An investigation revealed the suspects manipulating the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. A motor fuel tax inspection on both vehicles uncovered two fuel tanks in each bed of the trucks.

Maceo and Remond are charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Maceo is also charged with transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Bexar County.

Feb. 15

Jesus Perez Caballero, 33, of Cypress pleaded guilty to using re-encoded gift cards to fraudulently purchase 26 gallons of diesel fuel worth $125.

A Harris County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication. Caballero was sentenced to four years’ probation and required to perform 50 hours of community service and attend an anti-theft class. He was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, $126 in restitution and $250 to Crime Stoppers.

Caballero admitted to motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The fraudulent use/possession of credit/debit card information was dismissed as part of the plea.

In March 2022, investigators reportedly observed the defendant purchasing the diesel fuel and approached Caballero to ask for the credit card used in the transaction. Twenty-one counterfeit cards were found in a wallet that did not belong to him.

Feb. 13

Jorge Edilberto Avila-Mojena, 37, Houston pleaded guilty to illegally appropriating 264 gallons of diesel fuel worth $1,158.

A Harris County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication. Avila-Mojena was sentenced to two years’ probation and required to perform 100 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, $1,158 in restitution and $315 in court costs and fees.

Avila-Mojena admitted to evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In March 2022, an investigation revealed the defendant manipulating the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. A motor fuel tax inspection uncovered a large fuel bladder equipped with a nozzle in the bed of the truck. Avila-Mojena did not have permits for the fuel.

Feb. 9

Junior Ulloa Sanchez, 44, of Pflugerville was indicted for allegedly obtaining and illegally appropriating 86 gallons of diesel fuel worth $395.

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

An investigation revealed the defendant inserting a hose into an underground storage tank and siphoning fuel into a dump truck. A motor fuel tax inspection uncovered three-cylinder auxiliary fuel tanks in the bed of the dump truck capable of holding approximately 300 gallons each. The vehicle was outfitted with a pump, hose and power lines to deliver the fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Feb. 8

Darien Rodriguez Franco, 38, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly obtaining and illegally acquiring 1,700 gallons of diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed the suspect manipulating the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax as required.

Franco is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Parker County.

Feb. 6

Leonel Escalante Machin, 35, of Plano was arrested for allegedly acquiring and illegally appropriating 129 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store.

An investigation revealed the suspect manipulating the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax as required. The suspect’s vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel without a cargo manifest.

Machin is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Denton County.

Feb. 1

Wilver Rodriguez Benitez, 46, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly acquiring and illegally appropriating 313 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store.

An investigation revealed the suspect dispensing fuel into an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the vehicle’s cargo area from an underground storage tank. Benitez’s vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents.

Benitez is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents and evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., minivan), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Ellis County.

Pedro Ismael Serrano Echevarria, 43, of Dallas was indicted for allegedly acquiring and unlawfully appropriating 187 gallons of diesel fuel.

Echevarria is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed the defendant evading motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax as required for illegally appropriating diesel fuel. His vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents.

The case is pending prosecution in Wise County.

Yoan Fundora-Leon, 37, of Houston pleaded guilty to illegally appropriating 1,389 gallons of diesel fuel worth $5,958.

A Harris County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication. Fundora-Leon was sentenced to two years’ probation and required to perform 30 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay a $50 fine and $305 in court costs and fees.

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

An investigation revealed the defendant manipulating the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax and acting as a motor fuel transporter without a license.

Alejandro Martinez Hernandez, 32, of Dallas pleaded guilty to illegally obtaining 498 gallons of diesel fuel.

A Hill County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced him to seven years’ probation. He was ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution and $372 in court costs and fees.

Hernandez admitted to evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In May 2022, an investigation revealed the defendant manipulating the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. Hernandez threatened a gas station employee by showing a firearm.

March 30

Luis Enrique Chavarria, 26, of Midland pleaded guilty to storing and using untaxed, red-dyed diesel fuel.

A Midland County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication. Chavarria was sentenced to two years’ probation and required to perform 120 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 and $290 in court costs.

Chavarria admitted to one count of motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The second count of motor fuel tax evasion was dismissed.

During a motor fuel tax inspection at the defendant’s residence, an investigator confirmed that two truck tractors fuel supply tanks contained approximately 60 and 90 gallons of dyed diesel. The investigation also revealed that Chavarria had two 300-gallon totes that contained dyed diesel. One tote contained approximately 275 gallons, and the other tote held 50 gallons. A records search revealed he did not possess a permit for purchasing the dyed diesel.

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.

March 29

Alexander Banguela Perez, 47, of Overton, Nev., was arrested for allegedly acquiring and unlawfully appropriating diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed the suspect and other individuals manipulating numerous pump pulsar devices and using stolen credit card information to obtain the fuel. Perez’s vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

Perez is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Smith County.

March 28

Roberto Lazaro Cervantes Gil, 30, of Irving was arrested for allegedly obtaining and illegally appropriating 230 gallons of diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed that the suspect’s vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents.

Gil 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 a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Denton County.

March 26

Michael Shawn Whatley, 42, of Bivins was arrested for allegedly storing and selling untaxed, red-dyed diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed a large fuel storage tank and pump system with red-dyed diesel in the bed of the suspect’s truck. Whatley stated that he drove around and sold the fuel to individuals. A search of records determined that the suspect did not hold a permit at the time of arrest.

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.

Whatley 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 a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Cass County.

March 21

Manuel Arnoldo Ogaz, 43, of Lubbock was arrested for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully appropriating 70 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150.

An investigation revealed that the suspect purchased the diesel fuel from another individual. The fuel was offloaded into the saddle tanks of Ogaz’s Freightliner. He could not provide a receipt or invoice when investigators asked for documents.

Ogaz is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The case is pending prosecution in Lubbock County.

Ronald Gene Davidson, Jr., 39, of Lubbock was arrested for allegedly using a stolen credit card to illegally purchase 228 gallons of diesel fuel worth $944 from a convenience store.

An investigation revealed the suspect using an employer’s credit card to make three fraudulent transactions. The fuel was dispensed into an auxiliary tank in the bed of Davidson’s truck. Investigators observed him offload approximately 70 gallons of diesel fuel into the saddle tanks of a Freightliner.

Davidson is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Lubbock County.

Mohammed Mostafizur Rahman, 71, Pilot Point was arrested for allegedly possessing tobacco and e-cigarette products without state-issued permits.

An investigation revealed that the suspect possessed tobacco products without a permit posted. The investigation also determined that Rahman received, possessed and sold e-cigarettes without having a permit.

Rahman is charged with possession of tobacco products without a permit and failure to have an E-cigarette permit. The charges are Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Denton County.

March 17

Manuel Ramos Benavides, 33, of Arlington was arrested for allegedly acquiring and unlawfully appropriating 100 gallons of diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed that Benavides’ vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents. The suspect also knowingly attempted to evade the tax imposed on motor fuel.

Benavides is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents and evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County. Manuel Alejandro Alvarez Ibanez, 33, and Jatdiell Fernandez-Rodriguez, 34, both of Addison, and Angel Michel Pena-Palmero, 31, of Carrollton pleaded guilty to the predicate tax code felony offense which resulted in the offense of participating in organized criminal activity for unlawfully appropriating 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel from an Alvarado gas station.

A Johnson County district judge sentenced each defendant to two years in prison and ordered them to pay $3,234 in restitution. Ibanez was credited with 233 days’ jail time served. Fernandez-Rodriguez was credited with 212 days and Pena-Palmero was credited with 261 days.

The defendants admitted to evading motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The state waived the engaging in organized criminal activity charge in the plea agreement.

In April 2022, an investigation revealed the defendants manipulating the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to illegally obtain the fuel.

March 14

Yulier Garcia-Martinez, 43, Orlando, Fla., was arrested for allegedly possessing re-encoded credit/debit information and a criminal instrument.

During the execution of an evidentiary search warrant, an investigator discovered a 120-gallon fuel supply saddle tank in the rear interior of the vehicle. A test sample confirmed diesel fuel in the tank. The investigator also located a small green camouflage bag containing a small handmade motorized pulsar machine, several star drill bits (known as Torx screw bits) and a small hand-held, battery-operated drill along with two small pry bars. The suspect was in possession of six credit/debit cards at the time of his arrest. Three of the cards were found to be re-encoded with stolen credit and or debit card numbers.

Garcia-Martinez is charged with fraudulent use or possession of less than five items of credit/debit card information and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pulsar machine), both felonies punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months to two years and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Ector County.

Jun Seop IM, 41, of Marshall was arrested for allegedly possessing untaxed tobacco products.

A retail tobacco inspection revealed several bags of loose pipe tobacco displayed for sale behind the counter. IM admitted that he purchased the tobacco from two unauthorized, out-of-state tobacco distributors. IM is charged with two counts of possession of tobacco products with tax due along with books and records violation, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Harrison County.

Tejpal Singh Sandhu, 53, of Southlake was arrested for allegedly possessing e-cigarette products without the state-issued permit.

A retail tobacco inspection determined that the suspect received, possessed and sold e-cigarettes without having a permit.

Sandhu is charged with failure to have an e-cigarette permit, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Hood County.

March 13

Adan Ricardo Naranjo Ramos, 31, of Odessa pleaded guilty to unlawfully appropriating 150 gallons of diesel fuel.

An Ector County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced Ramos to five years’ probation. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $550, $3,138 in restitution and $1,215 in courts costs and fees.

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

In December 2021, the defendant acquired diesel fuel from an Odessa fuel station underground storage tank with the intent to evade motor fuel tax.

March 9

Jorge Rafael Pantoja-Norbert, 23, and Jose Alberto Duque de Estrada Gomez, 22, both of Houston, were arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards with stolen credit card information to illegally purchase 734 gallons of diesel fuel worth $3,299 from a Luling truck stop.

An investigation determined that the suspects used three counterfeit cards to acquire the fuel. A vehicle inspection revealed the box truck outfitted with the following: a 2,400-gallon tank in the back, one 140-gallon saddle tank on the side, multiple fuel transfer pumps, and digital fuel meters. The vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel. Investigators also discovered that the large auxiliary tank contained approximately 2,341 gallons of diesel fuel.

Pantoja-Norbert and Duque de Estrada Gomez are charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., box truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Caldwell County.

March 3

Candace Anderson, 50, of Marshall and Derrion Nolan, 38, of Karnack were indicted for allegedly using a company credit to illegally purchase 7,322 gallons of diesel fuel worth $18,458.

Anderson and Nolan are charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed the defendants dispensing large amounts of diesel fuel into large tote-style storage tanks being pulled by a commercial motor vehicle and a pickup truck.

The case is pending prosecution in Marion County.

March 1

Suleman Sadruddin Ismail, 67, of Euless was arrested for allegedly possessing tobacco, e-cigarette and cigarette products without the state-issued permits.

An investigation determined that the suspect received, possessed and sold e-cigarettes without having a permit. Ismail also received and possessed tobacco and cigarettes without a permit. Texas statutes require these permits to be visibly posted inside businesses for public view.

Ismail is charged with possessing/selling tobacco, e-cigarettes and cigarettes without the permits posted. All three charges are Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both. The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Mohyadein Fauad Salaymeh, 62, of Sugar Land was indicted for allegedly making false entries related to sales and use tax exemption certificates. Salaymeh is charged with false entry or failure to enter in records, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An examination of the business entity confirmed that the defendant failed to collect taxable sales from 2017 to 2020. The sales and use tax exemption certificates presented to the Comptroller’s audit office were fraudulently generated.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

2022

October - December

October

Oct. 28

Roylan Villalon Guevara, 33, of Pflugerville was arrested for allegedly acquiring and dispensing diesel fuel without the proper documents.

Investigators observed a vehicle arrive at the suspect’s residence and dispense diesel fuel into a 330-gallon tote tank located in Guevara’s garage. On Oct. 26 and Oct. 27, investigators further observed Guevara deliver fuel into an auxiliary fuel tank in the bed of his pickup truck and dispense the fuel into the supply tanks of two white box trucks. An investigation revealed that Guevara transported and delivered fuel from his residential garage.

Guevara is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, transporting motor fuel without shipping documents and accepting delivery of motor fuel without shipping documents, all second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Oct. 19

Brandon Joe Cheek, 38, of Spring was arrested for allegedly short loading large amounts of diesel fuel from his employer, a Cypress motor fuel distributor.

A private investigator conducted surveillance on the suspect and observed Cheek dispensing fuel to individuals on roadsides and parking lots. Video surveillance provided to the company confirmed his illegal activities on numerous occasions.

Cheek is charged with forging, falsifying or altering an invoice or shipping documents relating to motor fuel, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The charge was enhanced from a third-degree felony to a second-degree based on evidence involved in this case.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Oct. 18

Yordanis Diaz Perez, 30, of Austin was arrested for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully acquiring 84 gallons of diesel fuel worth $386 from a chain convenience store.

An investigation revealed that the suspect manipulated the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. Fuel was delivered into a 144-gallon aftermarket fuel tank that was discovered in the bed of a truck and covered with a plastic tarp. The vehicle was outfitted with a pump, hose and nozzle and modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Oct. 14

Taylor Colt Christian, 33, of Springtown was arrested for allegedly operating vehicles with red dyed diesel fuel on a public highway in a taxable manner.

An investigation revealed that the suspect was found operating his personal vehicle with red dyed diesel fuel in the primary tank. 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.

Christian is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and furnishing a signed statement and using the dyed diesel on a highway, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Parker County.

Oct. 13

Yimmy Christian Franco Bonilla, 24, and Arnol Escobar Sarabia, 40, both of Houston, were arrested for allegedly using red dyed diesel fuel on a public highway in a taxable manner.

A motor fuel tax inspection revealed that the suspect was driving a tractor trailer with red dyed diesel fuel in both saddle tanks of the vehicle. 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.

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

The cases are pending prosecution in Montgomery County.

Oct. 12

Tristan Wyatt Allen, 19, of Royse City was arrested for allegedly evading law enforcement.

During a retail tobacco inspection, an investigator observed the suspect leaving the premises with a package that appeared to be a vape product. The investigator identified himself as law enforcement to Allen and asked for identification. Allen refused to comply and left the location in his vehicle. The suspect also had a warrant for a probation violation.

Allen is charged with evading arrest/detention of a motor vehicle, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for at least six months and up to two years, and fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Rockwall County.

Oct. 11

Leobel Garcia Socarras, 33, of Pflugerville was arrested for allegedly acquiring and illegally obtaining 161 gallons of diesel fuel worth $674 from a San Antonio chain convenience store.

An investigation revealed that the suspect manipulated the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. Fuel was delivered into an aftermarket fuel tank that was discovered in Socarras’ vehicle.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Bexar County.

Terra Neece Washington, 43, of Garland was arrested for allegedly possessing cigarette, tobacco and e-cigarette products without state-issued permits.

During a compliance inspection of the suspect’s business, an investigator reportedly observed that Washington was operating and acting as a retailer that allowed her business to receive and possess cigarettes, tobacco products and e-cigarettes without a permit. The suspect also allowed the sale of cigarettes without a permit.

Washington is charged with receiving/possessing cigarettes without a valid permit; selling cigarettes without a valid permit; receiving/possessing tobacco products without a valid permit; and receiving/possessing E-cigarettes without a valid permit. All charges are Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both. The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Oct. 6

Earnest Virgil Long, 61, of Santa Fe, Texas, pleaded guilty to forging a government treasury warrant.

A Galveston County district judge sentenced the defendant to four years’ probation, and he was ordered to pay $910 in restitution to the victim and $312 in court costs and fees.

Long admitted to tampering with a government record with the intent to defraud or harm, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months to two years and a fine of up to $10,000. The defendant accepted a plea agreement, and the charge was probated in lieu of serving two years’ confinement in a state jail.

In July 2020, an investigation revealed that Long tampered with a government document by falsely signing his ex-wife’s name on the back of a treasury warrant.

Oct. 1

Crystal Johnson, 49, of Weatherford pleaded guilty for failing to pay motor vehicle sales tax collected.

A Hood County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced her to three years’ probation. She was also ordered to perform 300 hours of community service, enter a substance abuse treatment and pay a $1,000 fine along with $2,000 in restitution.

Johnson admitted to failure to remit taxes collected by a motor vehicle dealer of $1,500 or more but less than $20,000. The charge is a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months to two years and fine up to $10,000. The other five counts of tampering with government documents were dismissed in a plea agreement.

From March 2018 to December 2018, the defendant allegedly sold vehicles but failed to remit the motor vehicle sales tax collected to the Hood County Tax Assessor.

Heber Marinelarena, 50, and Olga Marinelarena, 46, both of Odessa were indicted for allegedly using 60 gallons of red dyed diesel fuel on a public highway in a taxable manner.

Both defendants are charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that both truck tractors were registered to Olga Marinelarena, and the red dyed diesel fuel was delivered into the tractors’ supply tanks by Heber Marinelarena. 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 Upton County.

Guillermo Leal Machado, 52, of Austin was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to illegally acquire 102 gallons of diesel fuel worth $298 from a Pflugerville gas station.

Leal-Machado is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents. Both charges are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

CID investigators reportedly observed the defendant obtain the fuel with four transactions using a counterfeit card. Local law enforcement conducted a traffic stop after Leal-Machado left the premises. Six counterfeit cards were located during a motor fuel tax inspection of the vehicle.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Melissa Elena Mendoza, 29; Javier Tomacen, 33; and Yosier Vicente Durruthy-Gonzalez, 34, were indicted for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully appropriating 10 or more gallons of diesel fuel without the proper documentation.

The defendants, all of Houston, 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 a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendants knowingly or intentionally transported diesel fuel in an auxiliary fuel tank on the flatbed of a pickup truck. The vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

November

Nov. 30

Suraj Pandeya, 35, of Arlington was arrested for allegedly possessing e-cigarette products without the state-issued permits.

During a compliance inspection of the suspect’s business, an investigation determined that Pandeya was operating and acting as a retailer that allowed his business to receive and possess e-cigarettes without a permit.

Pandeya is charged with receiving/possessing E-cigarettes without a valid permit, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Hopkins County.

Nov. 28

Yohander Sanchez Guerra, 38, of Houston was arrested for allegedly obtaining and illegally purchasing 230 gallons of diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed that the suspect manipulated the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. The fuel was concealed in an auxiliary fuel tank located underneath the truck. The vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense fuel.

Guerra is charged with evading or attempting to evade in any manner a tax imposed on motor fuel, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Nov. 16

Tristan Wyatt Allen, 19, of Royse City was indicted for allegedly evading law enforcement.

Allen is charged with evading arrest/detention in a motor vehicle, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months to two years and a fine up to $10,000.

During a retail tobacco inspection, an investigator observed a youthful appearing person whom he believed to be a minor in possession of a vape product exiting the store. The investigator identified himself as law enforcement to Allen and asked for identification. Allen refused to comply and left the location in his vehicle. The suspect also had a warrant for a probation violation.

The case is pending prosecution in Rockwall County.

Nov. 15

Amed Mederos, 44, of Tampa, Fl. was arrested for allegedly using red dyed diesel fuel on a public highway in a taxable manner.

An inspection revealed the suspect was driving a tractor trailer with red dyed diesel fuel concealed in both saddle tanks of the vehicle. 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.

Mederos is charged with concealing motor fuel, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both. The case is pending prosecution in Winkler County.

Nov. 10

Douglas Edward Hunsberger, 27, of Katy was arrested for allegedly short-loading diesel fuel from his employer.

A private investigator conducted surveillance on the suspect and observed Hunsberger dispensing fuel to individuals on roadsides and parking lots. Video surveillance provided to the company confirmed his illegal activities.

Hunsberger is charged with accepting motor fuel delivery without shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The precinct four Harris County Constable’s office requested CID’s assistance with this investigation.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Yordy Rodriguez Aldana, 25, of Aubrey pleaded guilty to using a re-encoded charge card to fraudulently purchase diesel fuel.

A Dallas County district judge sentenced him to 10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division. The judge suspended the prison term and probated the defendant to five years of community supervision, and he was ordered to pay a fine of $2,500. Aldana admitted to evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The defendant accepted a plea agreement, and the charges were probated in lieu of serving 10 years in prison.

An investigation revealed that the suspect illegally obtained the diesel fuel using a counterfeit card to evade motor fuel tax and transported the fuel without shipping documents for use on public highways.

Nov. 9

Alexey Romero-Perez, 47, of Homestead, Fl., was indicted for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully appropriating diesel fuel worth over $88,000 in 2016.

Romero-Perez was reindicted with the additional charge of unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., recreational vehicle), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendant modified and outfitted a 30-foot recreational vehicle with additional fuel storage tanks intending to establish, maintain or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination to evade motor fuel tax.

The case is pending prosecution in Midland County.

Nov. 4

Jawaad Barakat, 20, of Murphy was arrested for allegedly possessing e-cigarette products without state-issued permits.

An investigation determined that the suspect received, possessed and sold e-cigarettes without having a permit.

Barakat is charged with failure to have an E-cigarette permit, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Collin County.

Nov. 3

Fernando Vital, 50, of Odessa was arrested for allegedly acquiring and dispensing diesel fuel without the proper documents. Investigators observed the suspect arrive at a residence and dispense diesel fuel from a 60-gallon tank in the bed of Vital’s vehicle to the supply tank of a semi-truck. An investigation revealed that Vital transported and delivered fuel from his employer without authorization.

Vital is charged with transporting motor fuel without shipping documents and engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a required license, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years is prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Ector County.

Korbin Rayce Hamilton, 32, of Odessa was arrested for allegedly accepting diesel fuel without shipping documents.

Investigators observed a known subject arrive at the suspect’s residence and dispense diesel fuel from a 60-gallon tank into the saddle fuel tanks of Hamilton’s semi-truck. An investigation revealed that Hamilton accepted stolen diesel fuel without shipping documents.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Ector County.

Nov. 1

Maikol Lorenzo Reinoso-Rodriguez, 24, of Austin was arrested for alleged acquiring and unlawfully appropriating 100 gallons of diesel fuel worth $469 from a Jarrell gas station.

An investigation revealed that the suspect manipulated the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. An approximate 100-gallon auxiliary fuel tank was located in the bed of Reinoso-Rodriguez’s vehicle.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Williamson County.

Juan F. Pasquel-Torres, 35, of Laredo was indicted for allegedly falsifying information on sales and use tax returns.

Pasquel-Torres is charged with three counts of false entry or failure to enter in tax records, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendant was committing fraud by editing original invoices to remit reduced sales tax by increasing the subtotal amount and displaying a discounted sales tax amount.

The case is pending prosecution in Webb County.

Rodney Cerrantes Diaz, 42, of Tampa, Fl. was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to illegally acquire diesel fuel.

Diaz is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendant used a counterfeit card to unlawfully appropriate diesel fuel for use on public highways and evade motor fuel tax. The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Mike Osarumen Ogbebor, 42, of Houston was indicted for allegedly falsifying information on government records related to a vehicle sale.

Ogbebor is charged with false information on a title application, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendant manipulated the sales price on an Application for Texas Title and/or Registration and submitted fraudulent information to a county tax assessor’s office.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Jatdiell Fernandez, 33, of Addison pleaded guilty to participating in organized criminal activity by unlawfully appropriating diesel fuel.

A Dallas County district judge sentenced the defendant to five years’ probation in two cases, and he was ordered to pay a fine of $2,000 along with $286 in court costs.

Fernandez admitted to evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and fine up to $10,000.

The defendant also pleaded guilty to obtaining and unlawfully appropriating diesel fuel for use on public highways. Fernandez admitted to additional counts of evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Investigations revealed that the defendant manipulated the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax and transported the fuel without shipping documents.

December

Dec. 28

Carlos Daniel Ortiz Cruz, 22, of Austin was arrested for allegedly unlawfully obtaining 102 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store.

An investigation revealed that the suspect manipulated the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. The fuel was dispensed into one of two auxiliary fuel tanks in the bed of Cruz’s vehicle. A key to the fuel pump and a remote to control the pulsar device was found in his possession.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Hays County.

Dec. 21

Eduviesel Ramirez Guerra, 30, of Austin was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card with stolen credit/debit card information to illegally acquire 126 gallons of diesel fuel worth $499 from an Austin chain convenience store.

An investigator responded to a fuel theft in progress. The suspect was observed dispensing fuel into an auxiliary fuel tank. Guerra was stopped by Austin police after leaving the location. A motor fuel tax inspection revealed an approximate 128-gallon, L-shaped auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of the truck by a toolbox. The vehicle was outfitted with a pump, hose and nozzle to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

During a voluntary interview, Guerra denied being at the location but later admitted that he was at the fuel pump. Two counterfeit charge cards found in his possession were not used in the transaction.

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

CID investigators arrested him in Austin last year for unlawfully acquiring diesel fuel by tampering with a fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Arnaldo Frias Rodriguez, 39, of Austin was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card with stolen credit/debit card information to illegally acquire 121 gallons of diesel fuel worth $480 from a chain convenience store in Austin.

An investigator responded to a fuel theft in progress. The suspect was observed dispensing fuel into an auxiliary fuel tank. A motor fuel tax inspection revealed an approximate 142-gallon auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of the truck. The vehicle was outfitted with a pump, hose, and nozzle to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

During a voluntary interview, Rodriguez admitted to conducting the transaction. Nine counterfeit cards were found in his possession. Rodriguez refused to say which card was used in the fraudulent purchase.

Rodriguez is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Magdiel Gutierrez Tamayo, 18, and Joe Yuniet Gonzalez Tamayo, 34, of Austin were arrested for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully appropriating 123 gallons of diesel fuel worth $494 from an Austin chain convenience store.

An investigation revealed that the suspects manipulated the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. Fuel was delivered into an approximate 218-gallon auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of the truck.

Gutierrez Tamayo and Gonzalez Tamayo are charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Dec. 20

Sadiel Sosa Soriano, 44, of Odessa was arrested for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully appropriating 203 gallons of diesel fuel worth $1,114.

An investigation revealed that the suspect manipulated the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. Fuel was dispensed into an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of the truck. The vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities motor fuel.

Soriano is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest/shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Ellis County.

Stiverg Yassiel Delgado-Lopez, 27, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded gift card to illegally purchase 351 gallons of diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed that on March 23 and 24 of 2022, the suspect used a counterfeit card with financial information from a trucking company to conduct fraudulent fuel transactions and evade motor fuel tax.

Delgado-Lopez is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Dec. 19

Pedro Serrano Echevarria, 43, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to fraudulently obtain 254 gallons of diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed that the suspect used counterfeit cards to conduct fraudulent fuel transactions and evade motor fuel tax. A store employee identified Echevarria from a previous fuel theft. An investigator responded to a call and arrived at the location.

The investigator observed Echevarria dispensing fuel and detained him. A witness watched the suspect place counterfeit cards into a plastic bag and place it into a trash can between two fuel pumps, according to reports. Sixty-two counterfeit cards were recovered.

Echevarria is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest/shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., flatbed truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Wise County.

Dec. 16

Jawaad Barakat, 20, of Murphy was arrested for allegedly failing to maintain the required records for tobacco products.

The suspect was issued a records demand by a CID investigator for tobacco records from Jan. 1, 2021, through Oct. 20, 2022. Barakat did not provide the specific information requested in the records demand.

Barakat is charged with cigars and tobacco tax code books and records violation, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Collin County.

Philip Martin Garrison, 53, of Argyle was indicted for allegedly failing to pay motor vehicle sales tax collected.

Garrison is charged with failure to remit taxes collected by a motor vehicle dealer of $1,500 or more but less than $20,000, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months to two years and fine up to $10,000.

From April 2015 to September 2019, the defendant allegedly sold vehicles but failed to remit the motor vehicle sales tax collected to the Dallas County Tax Assessor.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Dec. 15

Adan Naranjo Ramos, 30, Lazaro Jimenez, 29, and Braulio Corona, 29, all of Odessa, were indicted for allegedly unlawfully appropriating 150 gallons of diesel fuel.

Ramos and Jimenez are charged with two counts of motor fuel tax evasion, and Corona is charged with one count. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The defendants allegedly acquired diesel fuel from an Odessa fuel station underground storage tank to use in motor vehicles with the intent to evade motor fuel tax.

The case is pending prosecution in Ector County.

Dec. 12

Eduardo Antonio Estupinan Medina, 29, of Round Rock was arrested for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully acquiring 76 gallons of diesel fuel worth $305 from a chain convenience store in Austin.

An investigation revealed the suspect manipulated the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. The fuel was transported in an approximate 100-gallon auxiliary fuel tank in the bed of the truck. Medina is charged with transporting motor fuel without shipping documents and motor fuel tax evasion, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Williamson County.

Fernando Tovar, Jr., 42, of San Antonio was indicted for allegedly falsifying information on government records related to vehicle sales.

Tovar is charged with seven counts of false name, false information and forgery of a vehicle registration, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

From October 2018 through November 2020, an investigation revealed the defendant manipulated the sales price on 10 Texas Certificate of Title and/or Registration applications and submitted fraudulent information to a county tax assessor’s office.

The case is pending prosecution in Bexar County.

Dec. 9

Luis Doval-Hernandez, 23, Rafael Basulto-Rubio, 54, and Iduar Acosta-Fernandez, 43, all of DeSoto, were arrested for allegedly acquiring and illegally appropriating large amounts of diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed that the suspects manipulated the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. The fuel was stored in custom aftermarket fuel tanks.

Doval-Hernandez, Basulto-Rubio and Acosta-Fernandez are charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Dec. 8

Frank Dayan Perez Reyes, 33, of Venus was arrested for allegedly obtaining and illegally appropriating 1,259 gallons of diesel fuel worth $6,622 from a chain convenience store.

An investigation revealed that the suspect manipulated the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. The fuel was concealed in an auxiliary fuel tank in the bed of the truck. The vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense fuel.

Reyes is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest/shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Ellis County.

Nilson Quintanilla Rodriguez, 32, of Katy was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards with credit card information to illegally purchase 119 gallons of diesel fuel worth $525 from a League City chain convenience store.

Rodriguez is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., flatbed truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Officers were called to a fuel theft in progress by a store manager who recognized the defendant’s vehicle in similar crimes. Rodriguez was identified when the fuel theft occurred. An investigation revealed that the truck bed was modified as a fuel tank and capable of holding hundreds of gallons of fuel. The vehicle was equipped with a pump, hose, nozzle and dispensing meter. Officers also recovered 37 counterfeit cards with re-encoded, credit card information.

CID also had active arrest warrants for him for motor fuel tax fraud in Wharton County.

The case is pending prosecution in Galveston County.

Dec. 7

Rodney Wayne Cheatham, 38, of Spring was arrested for allegedly purchasing stolen, short-loaded diesel fuel from an employee of a fuel distributor.

A private investigator conducted surveillance on the suspect and observed Cheatham dispensing fuel to individuals on roadsides and parking lots. Video surveillance confirmed his illegal activities.

Cheatham is charged with accepting motor fuel delivery without shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Arlinton Martinez Ferras, 47, of Odessa pleaded guilty to obtaining untaxed, red-dyed diesel fuel.

An Ector County district judge sentenced the defendant to three years’ probation, and he was ordered to pay a fine of $1,050 along with $400 in court costs and fees.

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

CID investigators and local law enforcement observed the defendant unlawfully acquiring and transporting the dyed diesel fuel. Ferras dispensed the fuel into multiple containers at an undisclosed residence. During a motor fuel tax compliance stop and inspection, investigators located a 275-gallon square tote container with red-dyed diesel fuel. Further inspection found multiple fuel hoses, a fuel nozzle, a fuel pump, a step ladder and a fire extinguisher in the rear compartment of the van.

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.

Dec. 6

Michael Brannon Hilbert, 44, of Houston was arrested for allegedly purchasing stolen, short-loaded diesel fuel from an employee of a fuel distributor.

A private investigator conducted surveillance on the suspect and observed Hilbert dispensing fuel to individuals on roadsides and parking lots. Video surveillance confirmed his illegal activities.

Hilbert is charged with accepting motor fuel delivery without shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

John Hafer Hill, 47, of Pantego was arrested for allegedly selling cigarette and tobacco products without the state-issued permits.

During an inspection of a food-service business, an investigator observed a food-vending machine selling cigarettes and tobacco products. The suspect was identified as the owner of the vending machine. Hill was contacted by phone and admitted that the vending machine with the tobacco products was his.

Hill is charged with selling cigarettes and tobacco products without a valid permit, both Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Dec. 2

Jesus Perez Caballero, 33, of Cypress was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to fraudulently purchase 26 gallons of diesel fuel worth $125.

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

Investigators reportedly observed the defendant purchasing the diesel fuel and approached Caballero to ask for the credit card used in the transaction. Twenty-one counterfeit cards were found in a wallet that did not belong to him.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Dec. 1

David Sanchez Rojas, 34, of Round Rock and Oscar Luis Jimenez Garcia, 33, of Austin were indicted for allegedly obtaining and illegally purchasing 264 gallons of diesel fuel worth $1,296.

Rojas and Garcia are charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendants manipulated the fuel pump’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. The fuel was dispensed into auxiliary fuel tanks in the bed of Rojas’ and Garcia’s vehicles.

CID assisted the Texas Rangers and La Grange PD with this investigation.

The case is pending prosecution in Fayette County.

July - September

July

July 26

Timothy Goff, 55, of Godley pleaded guilty to falsifying information on a sales and use tax permit.

A Johnson County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced Goff to two years in a state jail probated for five years. He was also ordered to pay a $750 fine and $1,040 in court costs and fees.

Goff admitted to the two counts of tampering with a government record with the intent to defraud or harm, felonies punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months to two years and a fine up to $10,000.

In January 2021, an investigation revealed that the defendant provided false information when completing a sales and use tax permit. The permit was not issued due to an existing liability, according to reports.

July 22

Rahul Rai35, of Grand Prairie was arrested for allegedly possessing e-cigarette/vape products without the state-issued permit.

During a compliance inspection of the suspect’s business, an investigator reportedly observed that an E-cigarette Retailer Permit was not visibly posted in the business as required by state statute and further investigation revealed he did not have a permit to engage in business.

Rai is charged with failure to have an E-cigarette Retailer Permit, a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Johnson County.

Mike Osarumen Ogbebor, 41, of Houston was arrested for allegedly falsifying information on government records related to a vehicle sale.

An investigation revealed that the suspect manipulated the sales price on an Application for Texas Title and/or Registration and submitted fraudulent information to a county tax assessor’s office.

Ogbebor is charged with false information on a title application, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Mohammad Alhabbal, 52; Rami Hawari, 35; and Yaman Marai, 30, of Richardson were indicted for allegedly possessing and transporting untaxed tobacco products. Ahmad Maktabi, 56, of Garland was indicted for allegedly possessing untaxed tobacco products.

Alhabbal, Hawari and Marai are charged with possession of tobacco products with tax due and transporting tobacco products without tax being paid, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Maktabi is charged with possession of tobacco products with tax due, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendants unlawfully possessed and transported tobacco products with the intent to evade tax being paid.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

July 21

Jesus Diaz Hernandez, 51, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully appropriating 255 gallons of diesel fuel worth $1,307.

An investigation revealed that Hernandez manipulated the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device with the intent to evade motor fuel tax. The fuel was dispensed into an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of a truck operated by the suspect.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

July 19

Evian Lozada Cruz, 33, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to illegally purchase 92 gallons of diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed that the suspect allowed motor fuel to be dispensed into an aftermarket fuel tank concealed in two vehicles and transported the fuel without shipping documents with the intent to establish, maintain or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination to evade motor fuel tax.

Cruz 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 a fine up to $10,000, and engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and fine up to $10,000.

CID and Wilmer Police conducted a joint investigation.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

July 12

Manuel Ramos Benavides, 34, of Arlington was indicted for allegedly evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, and unlawfully using a criminal instrument.

A Tarrant County district judge sentenced the defendant to 60 months deferred adjudication and court fees for evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents. The court waived the unlawful use of a criminal instrument charge.

An investigation found the defendant illegally appropriated approximately 100 gallons of diesel fuel in a pickup truck that was modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of motor fuel without a cargo manifest. Benavides intentionally and knowingly evaded a tax imposed on the motor fuel.

Alexei Carlos Otero, 49, of Odessa was arrested for allegedly acquiring and transporting 700 gallons of diesel fuel worth $1,000.

Investigators reported that the suspect received stolen fuel at his residence and dispensed the fuel into the supply saddle tanks of a semi-truck. Otero was observed driving away in the semi-truck and was subsequently arrested during a traffic stop conducted by local police.

Otero 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 a fine up to $10,000, and engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Ector County.

July 8

Yoenny Rafael Garcia-Ruiz, 26, and Yoanky Martinez Morata, 41, both of San Antonio were arrested for allegedly obtaining and appropriating 300 gallons of diesel fuel from a convenience store in Odessa.

Officers were called to a fuel theft in progress by a store employee who previously reported that Garcia-Ruiz’s truck was one of the vehicles used in stealing diesel fuel. The suspects installed a pulsar device on the fuel pump to illegally acquire the fuel. Garcia-Ruiz and Morata were arrested during a traffic stop. Investigators located a pulsar device remote control on the driver’s side door. The investigation further revealed that the stolen fuel was being delivered to a residence for an unlawful purchase.

Garcia-Ruiz and Morata are 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 a fine up to $10,000, and engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Ector County.

July 2

Manuel Alejandro Alvarez, 23, and Angel Michael Pena-Palermo, 30, both of Addison were arrested for allegedly acquiring and unlawfully appropriating 935 gallons of diesel fuel worth $4,463.

An investigation revealed the suspects manipulated the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device with the intent to establish, maintain or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination to evade motor fuel tax. The fuel was dispensed into an aftermarket fuel tank concealed in the beds of the vehicles operated by Alvarez and Pena-Palermo.

Alvarez is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and fine up to $10,000.

Pena-Palermo is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Angel Michael Pena-Palermo, 30, of Addison was arrested for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully appropriating 255 gallons of diesel fuel worth $1,223 from a chain convenience store in Dallas.

An investigation revealed the suspect manipulated the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax and transported the fuel without shipping documents in a vehicle for use on public highways.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

August

August 31

Raj Kumar Tamang, 40, of Fort Worth was indicted for allegedly obtaining a license by fraud.

A Tarrant County district judge sentenced the defendant to 24 months’ deferred adjudication with community supervision and court fees for obtaining a license by fraud. The second-degree felony was reduced to a third-degree felony for sentencing.

An investigation found the defendant purchased 10 tax permits/decals from a third party for $100 each. The third party then listed Tamang’s machines on a state license application that was submitted to unlawfully obtain tax permits/decals for Tamang.

August 29

Yander Martinez Jimenez, 31, of Fort Worth was indicted for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully appropriating 25 gallons of diesel fuel worth $129 from a gas station in Keller.

Jimenez is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendant manipulated the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. Fuel was delivered into an auxiliary fuel tank that was concealed in the bed of the truck. The vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Orlian Abad Estrada, 33, of Haltom City was indicted for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully appropriating 25 gallons of diesel fuel worth $129 from a gas station in Keller.

Estrada is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendant manipulated the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. Fuel was delivered into an auxiliary fuel tank that was concealed in the bed of the truck. The vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

August 26

Lisandra Campana-Fruto, 47 and Anabel Collado-Cruz, 28, of Fort Worth were arrested for allegedly acquiring and illegally appropriating 460 gallons of diesel fuel worth $2,511 from a Grapevine chain convenience store.

An investigation revealed that the suspects manipulated the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax and transported the fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents. The vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense large amounts of motor fuel.

Campana-Fruto is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Collado-Cruz is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax. Both are charged with two counts of unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck and a pulsar manipulator device), both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

August 25

Duniesky Ondarza Gonzalez, 36, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly acquiring and illegally appropriating 250 gallons of diesel fuel worth $1,235 from a Garland gas station.

An investigation revealed that the suspect manipulated the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. The fuel was delivered into an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of the truck operated by the suspect.

Gonzalez is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Collin County.

Manuel Alejandro Alvarez Ibanez, 32, and Jatdiell Fernandez-Rodriguez, 33, both of Addison, and Angel Michel Pena-Palmero, 30, of Carrollton were indicted for allegedly participating in organized criminal activity while unlawfully appropriating 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel from an Alvarado gas station.

Ibanez, Fernandez-Rodriguez and Pena-Palmero are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendants were observed on video manipulating the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device and using three different trucks to obtain the fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Johnson County.

Jorge Luis Barreto Cisneros, 39, of Odessa pleaded guilty to obtaining large amounts of diesel fuel from a West Texas gas location.

A Midland County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication, and he was sentenced to 10 years’ probation. He was also ordered to pay over $100,000 in restitution plus courts costs and fees.

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

In September 2020, Cisneros was observed appropriating diesel fuel into large auxiliary fuel tanks in the bed of his truck. Deputies conducted a traffic stop as the vehicle was leaving the premises. The defendant was detained until investigators arrived and performed a motor fuel tax compliance inspection.

CID’s investigation revealed that Cisneros and another previously convicted defendant were using fuel technician pump remotes to place the pump in maintenance mode to unlawfully acquire the high volumes of diesel fuel.

August 19

Carlos Maldonado, Jr., 39, of McAllen was arrested for allegedly possessing untaxed tobacco products.

An investigation revealed that the suspect purchased and possessed untaxed tobacco products from four unpermitted distributors with the intent to evade tax being paid from February 2020 through July 2021.

Maldonado is charged with possession of tax due, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Hidalgo County.

Salah Ali Osman, 26, of Fort Worth was arrested for allegedly possessing e-cigarette products without the state-issued permit.

During a compliance inspection of the suspect’s business, an investigator reportedly observed that an E-cigarette Retailer Permit was not visibly posted in the business as required by state statute, and further investigation revealed he did not have a permit to engage in business.

Osman is charged with failure to have an E-cigarette Retailer Permit, a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Johnson County.

August 18

Abel Alberto Rodriguez-Gaytan, 28, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly transporting 150 gallons of diesel fuel without the proper documentation.

During a motor fuel tax compliance inspection, an investigator conducted a consent search of the suspect’s vehicle and discovered that the pickup truck was modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of motor fuel.

Rodriguez-Gaytan 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 a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Darien Rodriguez Franco, 37, of Dallas was indicted for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to illegally obtain 46 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 from a fueling station in Seminole.

Franco is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest and purchasing motor fuel with the intent to evade motor fuel tax, all second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and fine up to $10,000. He is also charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Video surveillance along with an eyewitness spotted the defendant obtaining the fuel. Local law enforcement conducted a traffic stop and Franco allegedly provided two fictitious forms of identification.

The sheriffs’ offices in Andrews and Gaines counties assisted CID with the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Gaines County.

August 17

Rosemary Carrasco Banda, 51, of Grand Prairie was arrested for allegedly falsifying information on government records related to a fireworks sale.

An investigation revealed that the suspect submitted a fraudulent sales tax exemption certificate to a business to purchase fireworks.

Banda is charged with false entry of a resale or exemption certificate, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

CID worked this joint-investigation with the Grand Prairie Fire Marshal’s office. The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

August 16

Giosbani Rafael Marero Sanbrano, 38, and Pedro M. Cansino Gonzalez, 33, both of Austin, were arrested for allegedly acquiring 136 gallons of diesel fuel worth $607 from a chain convenience store in Austin.

Officers were called to a fuel theft in progress by a store employee who monitored the suspects using a pulsar tampering device on a pump to steal the fuel. Investigators stopped Sanbrano and Gonzalez from obtaining more fuel and identified both suspects. A motor fuel tax inspection revealed a 745-gallon auxiliary fuel tank in the bed of the pickup truck that was outfitted with a pump, hose, nozzle and digital meter.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Khader ZJ Rafidi, 43, of Brownsville was arrested for allegedly operating coin-operated amusement machines without a license or registration certificate.

During an amusement machine inspection, an investigator identified and seized three coin-operated amusement machines. The machines did not have the required state tax decal. An investigation determined that Rafidi owned and displayed the machines without a license or certificate.

Rafidi is charged with operating coin-operated amusement machines without a license or registration certificate, a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Cameron County.

August 14

Eduviesel Ramirez Guerra, 40, of Austin was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain 132 gallons of diesel fuel worth $722 from an Austin chain convenience store.

Officers were called to a fuel theft in progress by a store employee. An investigation revealed that the suspect illegally acquired and dispensed a large amount of fuel into a 180-gallon auxiliary tank that was concealed under a toolbox with a 22-foot hose, nozzle and digital fuel meter. Thirteen counterfeit cards were identified during a vehicle inventory. Guerra is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

August 9

Yordy Rodriguez Aldana, 25, of Aubrey was arrested for allegedly participating in organized criminal activity by using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully acquire diesel fuel.

An investigation revealed that the suspect illegally obtained the diesel fuel using a counterfeit card to evade motor fuel tax and transported the fuel without shipping documents for use on public highways.

Aldana is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

August 8

Manuel Alvarez, 32, Jatdiell Fernandez, 33 and Angel Pena Palermo, 30, all of Addison were indicted for allegedly participating in organized criminal activity to unlawfully appropriate diesel fuel.

Alvarez, Fernandez and Palermo are charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and fine up to $10,000.

Angel Pena Palermo, 30, and Jatdiell Fernandez-Rodriguez, 33, both of Addison were indicted for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully appropriating diesel fuel for use on public highways.

Palermo and Fernandez-Rodriguez are charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendants manipulated the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax and transported the fuel without shipping documents. The cases are pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Armando Esponda Lopez, 51, and Rosbel Larosa Acebo, 39, both of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded charge cards to illegally obtain 281 gallons of diesel fuel and 19 gallons of premium gasoline.

A Colorado County district judge granted the defendants deferred adjudication. Lopez and Acebo were sentenced to 30 days in jail and five years’ probation. They were also ordered to complete 240 hours of community service, and pay a fine of $1,060.

Lopez and Acebo admitted to evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The charge of engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit was dismissed in their plea agreement.

In March 2021, a credit card abuse victim contacted local law enforcement stating that her card was used at a gas station in Garwood. An investigator reviewed video surveillance and determined that the defendants used counterfeit cards to purchase the fuel. Lopez and Acebo were arrested after returning to obtain a second load of diesel fuel.

The gasoline was dispensed into the primary tank of a pickup truck. The diesel fuel was dispensed into two large steel tanks of a cargo trailer and an auxiliary tank in the bed of the truck.

August 5

Asdruval Rodriguez-Carbonell, 38, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to illegally purchase fuel from a chain convenience store in Pearland.

Rodriguez-Carbonell is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

On March 10, video surveillance revealed the defendant using a counterfeit card to fraudulently appropriate a large amount of diesel fuel. Rodriguez-Carbonell was identified when the fuel theft occurred and was arrested during a traffic stop conducted by local police.

The case is pending prosecution in Brazoria County.

August 2

Roberto Ledesma, 37, of Houston was arrested for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully purchasing 91 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Stafford.

An investigation revealed that the suspect manipulated the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. Ledesma’s flatbed truck was modified to hold a fuel tank that possibly held a few hundred gallons. The vehicle was equipped with an electric pump, hose, nozzle and meter.

Ledesma is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000

The case is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Roger Taracon Rodriguez, 43, of Houston pleaded guilty for using re-encoded credit/debit cards to illegally obtain 90 gallons of diesel fuel worth $299 from a Cypress chain grocery store.

A Harris County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication, and he was sentenced to six years’ probation. He was also ordered to complete 60 hours of community service and pay $930 in court costs and fees.

Rodriguez admitted to fraudulent use/possession of credit/debit card information, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The charges of motor fuel tax evasion and engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license was dismissed in his plea agreement.

In December 2021, a Harris County deputy constable observed the defendant pumping diesel fuel into his pickup truck. A traffic stop was conducted after the vehicle left the premises. An investigation revealed a nearly 100-gallon, large, steel, auxiliary fuel tank in the truck bed. The vehicle was equipped with a pump, hose and nozzle to receive, transport and dispense fuel. Sixty-two counterfeit cards were discovered in the investigation.

August 1

Seung Hwan Wi, 57, of Fort Worth was arrested for allegedly operating coin-operated amusement machines without a license or registration certificate.

During an amusement machine inspection, investigators identified and sealed 43 coin-operated 8-liner amusement machines. The machines did not have the required state tax permits. An investigation determined that Wi owned and displayed the machines without a license or certificate.

Wi is charged with operating coin-operated amusement machines without a license or registration certificate, a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Anyero Evelio Escalona, 26, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to unlawfully acquire 320 gallons of diesel fuel worth $1,679 from a Garland gas station.

An investigation revealed that the suspect illegally obtained the diesel fuel using counterfeit cards to evade motor fuel tax.

Escalona is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Yefferson Fraguela, 30, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to unlawfully purchase 32 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Arlington.

An investigation revealed that the suspect illegally obtained the diesel fuel using counterfeit cards to evade motor fuel tax and transported the fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents. Fraguela’s vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

Fraguela is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., box truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Adrian Rodriguez, 22, of Edinburg was indicted for allegedly storing 250 gallons of red dyed diesel fuel in a taxable manner.

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

An investigation revealed the defendant’s vehicle with a 250-gallon tote tank in the truck bed with red dyed diesel fuel that was illegally acquired from his employer. 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 Sutton County.

September

Sept. 28

Julius Tyler Dickens, 31, of Beaumont pleaded guilty to making a false entry related to a sales and use tax exemption certificate.

A Hardin County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced him to four years’ probation. He was also ordered to pay more than $3,000 in restitution.

Dickens admitted to tampering with a government document with the intent to defraud, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000; and with false entry on sales tax records, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The defendant purchased furniture and advised the business that he had a tax exemption. He provided false information when completing a sales and use tax exemption certificate. Dickens was not affiliated with the business listed on the form, according to reports. The founder of the entity did not authorize him to use the business’ information for the purchase.

Sept. 27

Marcus Jermaine Malbro, 28, of Houston pleaded guilty for using re-encoded credit/debit cards to fraudulently purchase 195 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 from a chain convenience store in Baytown.

A Harris County district judge sentenced the defendant to two days in jail and was ordered to pay a $4,000 fine.

Malbro admitted to evading or attempting to evade motor fuels tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The charge was reduced to a misdemeanor as part of his plea agreement.

In March 2021, a loss prevention manager provided the investigator with video surveillance of the transactions. The defendant was positively identified in the video through a driver’s license photo, according to reports. An auxiliary tank was found in the bed of Malbro’s pickup truck.

Sept. 19

Juan Zayas Penalver, 34, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully acquiring 206 gallons of diesel fuel worth $944 from a chain convenience store.

An investigation revealed that the suspect manipulated the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. Fuel was delivered into an auxiliary fuel tank that was concealed in the bed of the truck.

Penalver is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents or a cargo manifest, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Denton County.

Maribel Longoria, 40, of Henrietta was indicted for allegedly failing to maintain the required records related to motor vehicle sales tax and registration fees collected by the county tax assessor. Longoria is the elected Clay County tax assessor-collector.

Longoria is charged with four counts of misapplication of fiduciary property or property of a financial institution greater than $300,000, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

From 2018 to 2021, an audit revealed that the defendant routinely filed late reports and remitted tax payments. A criminal investigation determined that Longoria was not filing reconciliations of accounts with the county auditor and failing to make deposits as required by the Texas Local Government and Tax codes causing a substantial risk of loss to the state.

The case is pending prosecution in Clay County.

Sept. 15

Ariel Gonzalez Blanco, 45, of Austin was arrested for allegedly acquiring and illegally purchasing 22 gallons of diesel fuel worth $99 from a Round Rock chain convenience store.

CID investigators observed the suspect unlawfully obtain the diesel fuel using a counterfeit card. Local law enforcement conducted a traffic stop at the request of CID investigators after Blanco left the premises. Forty counterfeit cards were located during a consent search of the suspect’s vehicle. Another 30 counterfeit cards were later discovered in Blanco’s briefs at the county jail.

Blanco is charged with transporting motor fuel without shipping documents and fraudulent use or possession of credit card or debit card information, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., utility truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Williamson County.

Sept. 9

Bruce Allen Marshall, 45, and Justin Mathis, 26, both of Levelland were arrested for allegedly obtaining large amounts of diesel fuel from a storage tank in West Texas.

Video surveillance footage showed the suspects entering the premises and Marshall dispensing diesel fuel into the vehicle’s gas tank and two plastic barrels. Further investigation revealed that several witnesses reported that Marshall had stolen the diesel fuel. The suspects abandoned the pickup truck after the vehicle broke down. A motor fuel tax compliance inspection determined that fuel samples extracted from the two plastic barrels contained diesel fuel.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Hockley County.

Sept. 8

Eliberio Rosales-Lopez, 26, of Austin was arrested for allegedly acquiring and unlawfully appropriating 86 gallons of diesel fuel worth $378 from a chain convenience store.

An investigation revealed that the suspect manipulated the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to evade motor fuel tax. Fuel was delivered into an aftermarket fuel tank that was partially concealed in the bed of the truck. The vehicle was outfitted with a hose, nozzle and digital fuel meter, and modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Nilson Quintanilla Rodriguez, 31, of Katy was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards with credit card information to illegally purchase 119 gallons of diesel fuel worth $525 from a League City chain convenience store.

Officers were called to a fuel theft in progress by a store manager who recognized the suspect’s vehicle in similar crimes. Rodriguez was identified when the fuel theft occurred. An investigation revealed that the truck bed was modified as a fuel tank and capable of holding hundreds of gallons of fuel. The vehicle was equipped with a pump, hose, nozzle and dispensing meter. Officers also recovered 37 counterfeit cards with re-encoded, credit card information.

Rodriguez is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., flatbed truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Galveston County.

Nilson Omar Quintanilla, 34, of Katy was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently purchase 2,550 gallons of diesel fuel.

From October 2021 through September 2022, an investigation revealed the suspect used counterfeit cards to unlawfully purchase fuel from service stations in Wharton and Galveston counties to evade motor fuel tax.

Quintanilla is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a required license, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Wharton County.

Mario Alarcon Garcia, 38, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using 220 gallons of red dyed diesel fuel on a public highway in a taxable manner.

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

An investigation revealed that the defendant was operating a truck tractor on an interstate highway while using 220 gallons of red dyed diesel fuel to evade motor fuel tax. 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 Crockett County.

Sept. 6

Robert Howard Smith, 67, of Waxahachie was arrested for allegedly possessing e-cigarette products without the state-issued permit.

During a compliance inspection of the suspect’s business, an investigator reportedly observed that an E-cigarette Retailer Permit was not visibly posted in the business as required by state statute, and further investigation revealed that Smith did not have a permit to engage in business.

Smith is charged with receiving, possessing or selling E-cigarettes without having a retailer permit, a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Ellis County.

April - June

June

June 27

Rodney Carrantes Diaz, 42, of Tampa, Florida, was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain 93 gallons of diesel fuel worth $495.

Officers were called to a possible fuel theft in progress. They arrived at the location, and an investigator made contact with the suspect. A store employee reportedly witnessed Diaz taking possession of the fuel. Video surveillance confirmed the suspect dispensing fuel into a large homemade fuel tank in the bed of the pickup truck. Additional security footage provided to the investigator revealed a black rubber glove with 10 counterfeit cards hidden in a panel.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

June 23

Rafael Luis Castello, 57, of Odessa was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to illegally purchase 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel worth $4,140 from a convenience store in Odessa.

An investigation revealed that Castello returned to the same location and pump on Feb. 4 and 5, 2022, to free flow the fuel at a slower per gallon calculation causing an incorrect price of the fuel dispensed. Video surveillance showed that the suspect manipulated the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device to fraudulently acquire the fuel.

Castello 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 a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Martin County.

Rolando Ramirez Corrada, 47, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded charge cards to illegally purchase diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Baytown.

A Harris County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication (no final conviction), and he was sentenced to five years’ probation. He was also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service, pay $150 in restitution and attend an anti-theft course.

Corrada admitted to evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The charge of fraudulent use/possession of credit/debit card information was dismissed in his plea agreement.

In October 2020, the loss prevention manager contacted the Comptroller’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) about 13 events that occurred over a five-month period. The defendant was identified through an investigation, and local police stopped Corrada at another convenience store in Katy but released him without filing charges.

June 18

Alfredo Hechavarria Fonteboa, 34, of Addison was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to unlawfully purchase 269 gallons worth $932 of diesel fuel from a Frisco convenience store.

The suspect was observed dispensing fuel into the flatbed of a truck. Fonteboa then recognized the investigator and fled the scene. A store manager reportedly witnessed gift cards being thrown out the truck window. Local police conducted a traffic stop, and a vehicle search revealed that the truck was modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of motor fuel. Forty counterfeit gift cards were recovered during the investigation.

Fonteboa is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. He is also charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., his box truck), a third-degree felony punishable by to two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Denton County.

June 15

LaTonya Genarann Pham, 53, of Lufkin was arrested for allegedly falsifying information on government records.

An investigation revealed that the suspect manipulated official government forms to obtain money in an amount of less than $20,000 from the Comptroller’s office.

Pham is charged with tampering with governmental records, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Angelina County.

June 14

Alejandro Martinez Hernandez, 31, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly obtaining and unlawfully appropriating 496 gallons of diesel fuel from a fueling station in Hillsboro.

A store employee reportedly observed the suspect acting suspicious at one of the fuel pumps. He discovered that Hernandez had tampered with the pump’s pulsar device. The employee captured photos of the suspect. Hernandez pointed a firearm at the employee and demanded his cellphone.

Hernandez is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Hillsboro Police have also charged the suspect with aggravated robbery.

CID and Hillsboro Police conducted a joint investigation in this case.

The case is pending prosecution in Hill County.

June 9

Jatdiell Rodriguez Fernandez, 33, of Addison was arrested for allegedly acquiring and illegally appropriating 935 gallons of diesel fuel worth $4,463 from a Dallas chain convenience store.

An investigation revealed that the suspect manipulated the fuel dispenser’s pulsar device with the intent to establish, maintain or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination to evade motor fuel tax.

Fernandez is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. He is also 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 a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Binod Aryal, 32, of Farmer’s Branch was arrested for allegedly operating coin-operated amusement machines without a license or registration certificate.

During an amusement machine inspection, investigators identified and seized four coin-operated amusement machines. Three machines did not have the required state tax decal. The fourth machine had a state tax decal but was not registered to the suspect. An investigation determined that Aryal owned and displayed the machines without a license or certificate.

Aryal is charged with operating coin-operated amusement machines without a license or registration certificate, a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

June 3

Osley Alvarez-Morales, 47, of Irving was arrested for allegedly transporting 900 gallons of diesel fuel without proper documentation.

During a traffic stop, an investigator conducted a consent search of the suspect’s vehicle. He discovered three, 300-gallon plastic tanks that were full of diesel fuel and equipped with a pump, hose and fuel meter. The vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel.

Alvarez-Morales 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 a fine up to $10,000, and with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., his box truck), a third-degree felony punishable by to two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Ahmed Hamieh, 47, of Fort Worth was arrested for allegedly making a false statement related to a tobacco sale.

Investigators conducted an unannounced inspection of the suspect’s business. They observed a violation after receiving several complaints that the location was selling tobacco products to minors. During questioning, Hamieh stated that he did not sell tobacco products to a minor. Hamieh was identified by a minor who made the illegal purchase at the business.

Hamieh is charged with making a false report to a peace officer, a Class B misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of $2,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

June 1

Hugo Aguirre Negrete, 39, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly storing and using 110 gallons of red dyed diesel fuel in a taxable manner on public highways.

During an inspection of the suspect’s vehicle, an officer discovered red dyed diesel fuel in the front and side saddle fuel tanks of the truck. 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.

Negrete is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Jorge Diaz-Gonzalez, 26, and Javier Tomacen, 32, both of Houston, were indicted for allegedly acquiring and unlawfully obtaining diesel fuel from a La Porte convenience store.

Diaz-Gonzalez and Tomacen 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 a fine up to $10,000.

On March 1, 2022, the defendants were observed installing a device to manipulate the fuel pump’s pulsar and returned to the location to illegally steal large quantities of diesel fuel. Officers arrested them for transporting the fuel without any invoices verifying the legal purchase.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

May

May 26

Yosbel Ponce Bernal, 29, of Houston was arrested for allegedly acquiring and unlawfully appropriating 898 gallons of diesel fuel worth $4,481 from a chain convenience store.

An investigation revealed that the suspect manipulated the fuel dispenser’s pulser device with the intent to establish, maintain or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination to evade motor fuel tax.

Bernal is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Muhammad Asif Anwar, 56, of Wylie was arrested for allegedly possessing tobacco products without the state-issued permit being posted within public view.

An investigator received a complaint about the suspect’s business selling tobacco to minors and conducted surveillance of the location. He identified a minor leaving the store with tobacco products. An on-site inspection revealed that a cigarette and tobacco retail permit was not visibly posted in the business as required by statute, and the investigator observed the store manager remove two permits behind the sales counter.

Anwar is charged with possession of tobacco products without posting a tobacco permit, a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Collin County.

May 25

Jose Emilio Morales Soto, 48, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit/debit cards to unlawfully obtain 82 gallons of diesel fuel worth $125 from a chain grocery store in Cypress.

Soto is charged with fraudulent use or possession of more than five but fewer than 10 items of credit/debit card information, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000; evading motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison a fine up to $10,000; and credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up two years and a fine up to $10,000.

In March 2022, an investigator responded to a credit card abuse call and reviewed video surveillance of the defendant at the location on several occasions. He went to the fueling station and noticed the vehicle used in the theft. The investigator approached and detained Soto. He was identified on scene and found to have conducted three illegal transactions. Three counterfeit cards, among nine found in his possession, were used in the purchases.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

May 24

Rafiq Rajabali, 57, aka Rafiq Rajabal, of San Antonio was indicted for allegedly failing to maintain the required records for cigarette and tobacco purchases.

Rajabali is charged with cigarette tax code books and records violation, a third degree-felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

During an August 2019 on-site tobacco inspection, investigators confiscated cigarettes from the owner’s business that were reported stolen from other tobacco retailers. The defendant did not provide any invoices or documents from a records demand involving the seized cigarettes.

The case is pending prosecution in Bexar County.

May 19

Narvy Leonel Cruz Gonzalez, 25, of Pflugerville was arrested for allegedly acquiring and unlawfully appropriating 148 gallons of diesel fuel worth $768 from a chain convenience store.

Investigators observed the suspect illegally take possession of the fuel. An investigation revealed that he used a device to manipulate the fuel pump’s pulser device. A motor fuel tax inspection unveiled an approximate 148-gallon fuel tank in the truck’s bed concealed inside a large toolbox. The vehicle was outfitted with a pump, hose, nozzle and digital fuel meter consistent with transporting and dispensing fuel. Cruz Gonzalez fled investigators to evade detention before being arrested after a short foot pursuit.

Cruz Gonzalez is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and evading arrest or detention, a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Gunter Joan Gomez Heredia, 32, of Odessa was indicted for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to illegally purchase 46 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 from a Seminole fueling station.

Heredia is charged with purchasing motor fuel with the intent to evade motor fuel tax, transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest and motor fuel tax evasion. The three offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. He is also charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In April 2021, an eyewitness, along with video surveillance, confirmed the defendant obtained the fuel from a pump. A local sheriff’s deputy conducted a traffic stop and identified him. An investigation revealed Heredia transported approximately 200 gallons of diesel fuel without shipping documents and did not have a motor fuel transporter’s license.

The case is pending prosecution in Gaines County.

May 12

Damian Barrero, 30, of Alice was arrested for allegedly obtaining red dyed diesel fuel for use on public highways.

During a fuel tax inspection of the suspect’s vehicle, an investigator discovered red dyed diesel fuel in two primary tanks of the truck. Barrero explained that he did not know where the fuel was from.

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.

Barrero is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Victoria County.

Pedro Marciano Lopez, 48, of Odessa was arrested for allegedly short loading large amounts of diesel fuel from a Midland fuel distributor without the proper documentation.

The fuel distributor permit holder told an investigator the suspect was headed toward the location with fuel in a supply tanker truck. The investigation and video surveillance show the suspect attaching a supply hose from the truck and dispensing fuel into a storage tank that held approximately 12,000 gallons. Officers arrested Lopez on the property.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Ector County.

Jesus Vargas, 68, of Odessa was arrested for allegedly receiving large amounts of unlawfully acquired diesel fuel from a Midland fuel distributor truck driver without the proper documentation.

An investigation and video surveillance show Vargas allowing another individual to dispense numerous quantities of diesel fuel into a storage tank at a disclosed location an employee provided to investigators. The suspect stated that he buys fuel from the business and receives an invoice for payment. Vargas could not provide the proper documents for the delivery and was arrested.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Ector County.

May 11

Yandis Perez-Hidalgo, 39, of Grand Prairie was arrested for allegedly using stolen charge card numbers to illegally purchase 1,485 gallons of diesel fuel worth $4,829 from a Mansfield fueling station.

Video surveillance showed Perez-Hidalgo at the location unlawfully purchasing fuel 41 times from Nov. 16, 2021, to Feb. 1, 2022. An investigator followed the suspect to a warehouse and observed him fueling a cargo truck from an auxiliary fuel tank in the back of his vehicle. He failed to provide proper documents when investigators made contact with him.

Perez-Hidalgo is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant and Dallas counties.

May 8

Yoagner Torres Rodriguez, 39, of Mesquite was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to fraudulently obtain 114 gallons of diesel fuel worth $598 from a fuel depot in Grand Prairie.

A store employee observed the suspect on surveillance video dispensing the fuel into the truck and contacted local police, who later took the suspect into custody and arrested him. Rodriguez conducted two illegal transactions to purchase the fuel. During a search of his vehicle, 15 counterfeit cards were found in the driver’s side door panel. The search also revealed a fabricated metal fuel cell located inside the truck’s wall.

Rodriguez is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. He is also charged with unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., his box truck), a third-degree felony punishable by to two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

May 1

Stiverg Yassiel Delgado-Lopez, 28, of Dallas was indicted for allegedly evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax.

A Dallas County judge sentenced the defendant to three years deferred adjudication with community supervision.

An investigation found the defendant illegally appropriated approximately 351 gallons of diesel fuel and failed to pay the backup tax as required by the Tax Code.

Osvaldo Soto Abraira, 25, of Austin was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded cards with stolen credit/debit card information to fraudulently acquire 111 gallons of diesel fuel.

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

The defendant was observed dispensing fuel at three different locations. A Department of Public Safety (DPS) investigator conducted a traffic stop and reportedly noticed him throwing a wallet outside the passenger’s window. Eleven counterfeit cards were found inside the recovered wallet. Abraira admitted to purchasing and using the cards to acquire and sell the fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Jacquelyn Hutchins, 45, of Dallas was indicted for allegedly unlawfully appropriating treasury warrants with the intent to deprive the owner of the property.

The defendant was charged with property theft, a third-degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

An investigation found the defendant unlawfully appropriated treasury warrants with a value of around $31,731 that were signed and deposited into her account, with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of the property.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

April

April 29

Maikel Fonseca Corzo, 33, of Round Rock was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit/debit card information to illegally acquire 49 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Austin.

Corzo is charged with evading or attempting to evade 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. He is also charged with fraudulent use or possession of more than five but fewer than 10 items of credit/debit card information and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., his truck), both third degree-felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In August 2020, a search of his vehicle revealed a 160-gallon auxiliary tank in the truck bed outfitted with a pump, fuel hose, fuel nozzle and digital fuel meter. The defendant reportedly admitted that he did not have permits or shipping documents related to the fuel.

Officers also located nine counterfeit cards in Corzo’s possession. A store receipt showed that one of the cards used in the purchase was a gift card. He claimed to have used one of his two debit cards.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Yunaika Aleyda Romero-Marquez, 33, Elwisbel Gomez-Delgado, 34, and Maria Doblado-Barges, 27, all of Tanglewood pleaded guilty to participating in organized criminal activity while using re-encoded credit/debit card information to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel.

A Lee County district judge granted the defendants deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and sentenced them to five years’ probation, to complete 100 hours of community service and to pay a fine of $1,500 plus court costs and fees. Romero-Marquez was ordered to serve two days in jail and was credited with two days’ time served. Gomez-Delgado served six months in jail and was credited with one month time served.

The defendants admitted to engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Romero-Marquez and Gomez-Delgado admitted to credit/debit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up two years and a fine up to $10,000.

Investigators reportedly watched all three defendants unlawfully acquire the fuel from several counties. They observed Romero-Marquez and Gomez-Delgado transport the fuel to several locations in Williamson County, Texas. During the execution of a search warrant of their residence, investigators discovered numerous pieces of evidence related to the theft along with a large number of counterfeit cards.

April 28

Kian Rezaeizadeh, 59, of Rockwall was indicted for allegedly failing to maintain the required records for cigarette and tobacco purchases.

Rezaeizadeh is charged with cigar and tobacco products tax code books and records violation, a third degree-felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In July 2020, an on-site inspection revealed that the defendant failed to produce the required invoices from permitted tobacco distributors and wholesalers from the period of March 25, 2020, through March 25, 2021.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

April 21

Stephen Thornton, 70, of Dallas was indicted for allegedly falsifying a renewal application for coin-operated amusement machines.

Thornton is charged with two counts of tampering with a government record, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendant submitted a general business license renewal and additional sticker application through fraud, then sold decals obtained by the applications.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

April 20

Leodanis Ebanks Aragon, 40, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded credit cards to fraudulently purchase 74 gallons of diesel fuel worth $149 from a Pearland convenience store.

A Brazoria County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and sentenced him to three years’ probation, to complete 180 hours of community service and to pay a $1,240 fine plus court costs. He was also ordered to pay $289 in restitution.

Aragon admitted to evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000 and engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit, a third degree-felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. In May 2020, a store manager reportedly witnessed the defendant using a re-encoded charge card to purchase the fuel. Local police responded and made contact with Aragon. Investigators found that Aragon’s truck was outfitted with a modified tank in the bed, along with a pump, hose and a metered nozzle. A Fuze card found in his possession contained 27 credit/debit card numbers, only one of which was issued to him.

April 14

Yunior Paneque Garlobo, 41, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to using re-encoded charge cards to illegally purchase diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Pearland.

A Brazoria County district judge sentenced the defendant to 32 days in jail and to pay a fine of $270. He was credited with 32 days’ time served.

Garlobo admitted to unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., his truck), a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both. The charges of motor fuel tax evasion and engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license were dismissed in his plea agreement.

A store employee reportedly witnessed the purchase and contacted local police, who conducted a traffic stop and identified Garlobo. An investigation revealed that his truck was outfitted with a large tank mounted in the bed along with hoses, pumps and nozzles consistent with transporting and dispensing fuel.

April 11

Juan Rodriguez-Bacallao, 49, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly using stolen credit card information to fraudulently obtain 420 gallons of diesel fuel from a Mansfield convenience store.

An investigation revealed that the suspect acquired the diesel fuel from April to June 2021.

Rodriguez-Bacallao is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

April 8

Mohmad Tasleem Khan, 67, of Pflugerville pleaded guilty to purchasing untaxed tobacco products from an unlicensed distributor and failing to maintain the required records.

A Travis County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and sentenced him to 10 years’ probation. Khan was ordered to pay over $70,000 in restitution plus court costs and fees.

Khan admitted to possession of tobacco products on which more than $50 in taxes were due and books and records violation, both third degree-felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In August 2019, an investigator conducted an on-site inspection of the business and reported that the defendant admitted to purchasing tobacco products from an out-of-state, unlicensed distributor and only having a retailer permit. The investigation revealed that Khan possessed tobacco products on which a tax of more than $50 is required to be remitted.

April 7

Yainel Maturell Fernandez, 32, of Houston pleaded guilty to possession of re-encoded gift cards with stolen credit/debit card information.

A Harris County district judge sentenced the defendant to 12 days in jail and was credited with six days’ time served. He was ordered to pay $290 in court costs plus fees.

Through his attorney, Fernandez admitted to fraudulent use or possession of credit/debit card information, a third degree-felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The charge was reduced to a state jail felony.

Investigators found counterfeit cards in his possession at the time of his arrest.

April 1

Roger Sierra, 43, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded credit/debit cards to fraudulently obtain 42 gallons of diesel fuel.

A Harris County district judge sentenced the defendant to two years in prison. He was ordered to pay $290 in court costs, $930 in fees and was credited with 179 days’ time served.

Sierra admitted to fraudulent use or possession of credit card or debit card information, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The charge of engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license was dismissed.

An investigation revealed that the defendant obtained the fuel with the intent to act as a motor fuel transporter. Counterfeit cards were found in his possession at the time of his arrest.

Dien Phuc Nguyen, 52, of Watauga pleaded guilty to operating coin-operated amusement machines at his place of business without proper documentation.

A Tarrant County judge sentenced the defendant to one day in jail and was credited with two days’ time served. He was ordered to pay $272 in court costs.

Nguyen admitted to operating amusement machines without a license or registration certificate, a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

During an inspection of his game room, investigators identified 10 machines that did not have the required state tax decals affixed and determined the suspect owned and displayed the machines without a license or certificate.

Roger Taracon Rodriguez, 42, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit/debit cards to illegally obtain 90 gallons of diesel fuel worth $299 from a Cypress chain grocery store.

Rodriguez is charged with evading motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

A Harris County constable observed the defendant pumping diesel fuel into his pickup truck. A traffic stop was conducted after his vehicle left the premises. An investigation revealed a nearly 100-gallon, large, steel, auxiliary fuel tank in the truck bed. The vehicle was equipped with a pump, hose and nozzle to receive, transport and dispense fuel. Sixty-two counterfeit cards were discovered in the investigation.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

January - March

Jan. 31

Upendra Dhakal, 32, and Supriya Karki, 33, both of Arlington, were arrested for allegedly possessing tobacco products without the state-issued permit required to be posted in public view.

During a compliance inspection of the suspects’ business, an investigator reportedly observed several violations after receiving a report that the location was selling tobacco to minors. A cigarette and tobacco retail permit was not visibly posted in the business as required by statute during the inspection, and the clerk was observed allegedly selling tobacco products to a minor.

Dhakal and Karki are charged with possession of tobacco products without posting a tobacco permit, a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Denton County.

Jan. 21

John Robert Newman, 39, of Nemo was arrested for allegedly making a fraudulent purchase at a chain convenience store.

A store employee attempted to contact the subject by phone about the large purchase. The phone number he provided was listed to another individual. The other person did not give the consent for his phone number to be used in the tax-exempt purchase.

Newman is charged with fraudulent use or possession of identifying information of more than five but fewer than 10 items, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Johnson County.

Timothy Lee Goff, 54, of Godley was indicted for allegedly falsifying information related to a sales and use tax permit.

Goff is charged with two counts of tampering with a government record with the intent to defraud or harm. The indictment enhanced both counts to third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the suspect provided false information when completing a sales and use tax permit. The permit was not issued due to an existing liability, according to reports.

The case is pending prosecution in Johnson County.

Jan. 20

Leonardo Rodriguez Hidalgo, 43, of Grand Prairie and Reinaldo Rodriguez Moya, 51, of Houston pleaded guilty to using a re-encoded charge card to fraudulently purchase 29 gallons of diesel fuel worth $85 from a chain convenience store in Gainesville.

A Cooke County district judge sentenced the defendants to 10 years’ probation. He ordered them to pay a $5,000 fine and $290 in court costs. They were both credited with 175 days’ time served.

Hidalgo and Moya admitted to transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents and attempting to evade motor fuel tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendants used a counterfeit card to obtain the fuel. Investigators confirmed the fraudulent purchase through investigative means.

Yander Martinez Jimenez, 32, of Fort Worth was indicted for allegedly evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, and unlawfully using a criminal instrument.

A Tarrant County district judge sentenced the defendant to 2 years’ deferred adjudication with community supervision and court fees for unlawful use of a criminal instrument. The evading motor fuel tax charge was waived.

An investigation found the defendant illegally appropriated approximately 25 gallons of diesel fuel worth about $129 and delivered it into an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of a truck which was modified to receive, transport, and dispense large quantities of motor fuel.

Feb. 14

Nawid Said Hassan, 26, of Grand Prairie was arrested for allegedly possessing tobacco products without the state-issued permits required to be posted in public view.

During a retail inspection of the business, an investigator reportedly observed the suspect retrieving the sales tax and tobacco permits from a drawer and frame box behind the sales counter. At the time of the inspection, the cigarette and tobacco retail permits were not visibly posted in the business as required by statute.

Hassan is charged with possession of tobacco products without posting a tobacco permit, a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

BLSA, LTD and partner Jeffrey Hogue, 64, of Missouri City, representing the corporation, pleaded guilty to falsifying cigarette distributor returns.

A Fort Bend County district judge ordered the defendant to pay over $100,000 in restitution.

The defendant pleaded guilty to three counts of cigarette tax code books and records violations. All three offenses are third-degree felonies, punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In November 2021, Hogue pleaded guilty to multiple counts of books and records violations. He was sentenced to three years’ probation and 50 hours of community service.

Numerous cases of unstamped cigarettes were seized during a 2020 investigation of the business.

Feb. 4

Candyce Lee Chazel, 63, of Odessa pleaded guilty to obtaining an amusement machine license or registration certificate by fraud.

An Ector County district judge granted her deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and sentenced her to five years’ probation. He also ordered her to pay a fine of $1,050 plus court costs and fees.

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

In January 2021, an investigation revealed that the defendant falsified two registration renewal applications for amusement machines using information belonging to a deceased owner.

Feb. 1

MD Rahman, 30, of Arlington pleaded guilty to falsifying a renewal application for coin-operated amusement machines.

A Tarrant County district judge granted him deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and sentenced him to one year of probation and 80 hours of community service and ordered him to pay a $200 fine plus court costs and fees.

Rahman admitted to failing to report or provide information on amusement machines, a Class B misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a $2,000 fine or both. A charge for three counts of operating an amusement machine without a license or registration certificate was dismissed as part of his plea agreement. Another charge of attempting to obtain a license by fraud was reduced to the Class B misdemeanor.

In May 2021, investigators received information that the defendant submitted a registration certificate through fraud or misrepresentation.

Jorge Luis Rignak Pena, 28, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded credit cards to fraudulently obtain 57 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 from a chain convenience store in Katy.

A Fort Bend County district judge sentenced him to two days in county jail and was credited with two days’ time served. Two charges of motor fuel tax evasion and credit/debit card abuse were dismissed as part of his plea agreement.

Pena admitted to fraudulent use or possession of identifying information with less than five items, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up two years and a fine up to $10,000.

The defendant was observed conducting a fraudulent fuel purchase using counterfeit credit cards. The fuel was dispensed into an auxiliary tank that was placed in the bed of his truck.

March 31

Sandor Said Mecias Delas, 39, of Pflugerville was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded cards with stolen credit/debit card information to illegally acquire 25 gallons of diesel fuel worth $125 from a chain convenience store in Austin.

Officers reportedly observed the suspect acquiring the fuel. A duplicate store receipt showed him completing one transaction at the pump. Investigators located one of the 27 counterfeit cards used in the fraudulent transaction.

A motor fuel tax inspection revealed a nearly 220-gallon auxiliary fuel tank in the bed of the truck. The tank was concealed with a black toolbox. The vehicle was outfitted with a pump, fuel hose, nozzle and digital meter to receive, transport and dispense fuel.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

March 28

Steven Anthony Bailey, 36, of California was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded credit/debit cards to unlawfully obtain 1,465 gallons of diesel fuel worth $4,333 from a Mansfield gas station.

Surveillance video from the gas station showed the suspect committing fraudulent purchases at least six different times. An investigator identified him through surveillance video and an out-of-state driver’s license photo.

Bailey is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigator with the Comptroller’s office collaborated with the Mansfield Police Department in the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

March 27

Osley Alvarez-Morales, 34, of Hialeah, Florida, was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to fraudulently purchase 355 gallons of diesel fuel from a gas station in Dallas.

Officers reportedly observed Alvarez-Morales pumping fuel into an external fuel storage container. The fuel was then transported to a residence where the suspect was seen dispensing the fuel into bulk storage containers from the bed of the truck.

He was detained by investigators at the location. During the investigation, 35 counterfeit cards were found in his possession.

Alvarez-Morales is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without a shipping manifest, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and engaging in transactions requiring a permit without a permit, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Mazin Adeeb Shalabi, 54, of Fort Worth was arrested for allegedly failing to maintain the required records for tobacco and cigarette purchases.

An on-site retail tobacco inspection revealed that the suspect, who owned the business, failed to maintain and produce the required invoices from permitted tobacco distributors and wholesalers for four years. During the inspection, the investigator also sealed five coin-operated amusement machines with no tax decals.

Shalabi is charged with a books and records violation, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

March 24

Nicolas Miguel Quinones, 36, of Houston was indicted for allegedly obtaining 526 gallons of diesel fuel from a Colorado City convenience store.

Quinones is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In November and December 2021, surveillance videos showed the defendant at the location with his truck tractor manipulating several pumps to illegally acquire the fuel. He used an electronic device to place the pumps into maintenance mode while allowing the pumps to dispense the fuel without any transaction details.

The case is pending prosecution in Mitchell County.

March 21

Jamie Salmeron, 48, of Mount Pleasant was indicted for allegedly falsifying motor vehicle sales prices and failing to remit more than $100,000 in tax collections.

Salmeron is charged with tampering with government records, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Investigators determined that the defendant was misrepresenting the sales price on vehicles to reduce the tax liability owed.

The case is pending prosecution in Titus County.

March 14

Jesus Perez Caballero, 32, of Cypress was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to fraudulently purchase 26 gallons of diesel fuel worth $125 dollars from a chain grocery store in Katy.

Investigators reportedly observed the suspect purchasing the diesel fuel and approached him to ask for the credit card used in the transaction. Investigators found 21 counterfeit cards on the scene that did not belong to Caballero.

Surveillance video and a credit card receipt showed the suspect made the fraudulent transaction using one of the counterfeit cards.

Caballero is charged with fraudulent use/possession of more than 10 but fewer than 50 items of credit/debit card information, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

March 10

Roger Taracon Rodriguez, 42, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit/debit cards to illegally obtain 90 gallons of diesel fuel worth $299 from a Cypress chain grocery store.

Rodriguez is charged with evading motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

A Harris County constable observed the defendant pumping diesel fuel into his pickup truck. A traffic stop was conducted after his vehicle left the premises. An investigation revealed a nearly 100-gallon, large steel auxiliary fuel tank in the bed. The vehicle was equipped with a pump, hose and nozzle to receive, transport and dispense fuel. Sixty-two counterfeit cards were discovered in the investigation.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

March 9

Adam Russell Sellers, 43, of Meridian, Mississippi, was arrested for allegedly obtaining red dyed diesel fuel for use on public highways.

During a fuel tax inspection of the suspect’s vehicle at a drilling site, investigators discovered approximately 160 gallons of red dyed diesel fuel in a supply tank, an auxiliary bed-mounted tank and a white plastic 250-gallon capacity tote.

Sellers explained that the fuel he stored in the tote and acquired from a delivery truck was retrieved in another state. 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.

Sellers is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and delivering dyed diesel fuel for use on a public highway, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Glasscock County.

March 8

Adrian Gumersindo Martinez-Smith, 30, of Houston was indicted for using a re-encoded charge card to illegally purchase 65 gallons of diesel fuel worth $195 from a gas station in Corsicana.

Martinez-Smith is charged with two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and one count of unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., his SUV), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendant used a counterfeit card to purchase the fuel. Investigators confirmed the fraudulent transactions with receipts the convenience store manager provided. The vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense large amounts of motor fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Navarro County.

Jorge Ramirez Utriaga, 32, of Port Arthur was indicted for using a re-encoded charge card to illegally purchase 206 gallons of diesel fuel worth $619 from a gas station in Corsicana.

Utriaga is charged with two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and one count of unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., his van), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendant used a counterfeit card to purchase the fuel. Investigators confirmed the fraudulent transactions with receipts the convenience store manager provided. The vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense large amounts of motor fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Navarro County.

Carla Castillo-Lopez, 24, of Port Arthur was indicted for using a re-encoded charge card to illegally purchase 206 gallons of diesel fuel worth $619 from a gas station in Corsicana.

Castillo-Lopez is charged with two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and one count of unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., her van), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendant used a counterfeit card to purchase the fuel. Investigators confirmed the fraudulent transactions with receipts the convenience store manager provided. The vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense large amounts of motor fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Navarro County.

March 1

Roger Sierra, 43, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded credit/debit cards to fraudulently obtain 42 gallons of diesel fuel.

A Harris County district judge sentenced the defendant to two years in prison. He was ordered to pay $290 in court costs, $930 in fees and was credited with 179 days’ time served.

Sierra admitted to fraudulent use or possession of credit card or debit card information, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The charge of engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license was dismissed. An investigation revealed that the defendant obtained the fuel with the intent to act as a motor fuel transporter. Counterfeit cards were found in his possession at the time of his arrest.

2021

October - December

October

Oct. 28

Sarah Christine Arcillas, 33, and Maria Sheila Swafford, 52, both of San Antonio, were indicted for allegedly failing to pay motor vehicle sales tax collected.

Arcillas and Swafford are charged with failure to remit taxes collected by a motor vehicle dealer of $1,500 or more but less than $20,000, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for at least six months and up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

In 2018 and 2019, the defendants allegedly sold vehicles but failed to complete the title transfers or pay the taxes collected, title and registration fees on those sales.

The case is pending prosecution in Bexar County.

Jorge Hernandez-Guerra, 33, of Houston, pleaded guilty to using re-encoded gift cards to fraudulently obtain 166 gallons of diesel fuel worth $433 from a Houston gas station.

A Harris County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication, sentenced him to three years’ probation and 60 hours of community service. He also ordered him to pay $290 in court costs.

Hernandez-Guerra admitted to engaging in a fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A charge for possession of counterfeit credit cards with fewer than five items was dismissed as part of his plea agreement.

In January 2020, local police reportedly observed the defendant pumping diesel fuel into a concealed auxiliary tank spanning the entire depth of his pickup bed. The vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense fuel.

He made five unauthorized transactions. Investigators confiscated a counterfeit gift card after the defendant attempted to dispose of multiple cards before being searched.

Oct. 18

Stephen Thornton, 70, of Dallas, was arrested for allegedly obtaining an amusement machine license by fraud.

During an inspection at four different locations, investigators seized 11 amusement machines that were not owned by the suspect. Further research found that 11 decals were purchased and registered to him for use of the machines. An investigation revealed that he submitted a general business license renewal and additional sticker application through fraud, then sold decals obtained by the applications.

Thornton is charged with obtaining a license by fraud, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, and two counts of tampering with a government record, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Julius Tyler Dickens, 30, of Beaumont was indicted for allegedly making a false entry related to a sales and use tax exemption certificate.

Dickens is charged with tampering with a government document with the intent to defraud, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000; and with false entry on sales tax records, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

The defendant purchased furniture and advised the business that he had a tax exemption. He provided false information when completing a sales and use tax exemption certificate and was not affiliated with the business listed on the form, according to reports. The founder of the entity did not authorize him to use the business’ information for the purchase.

The case is pending prosecution in Hardin County.

Andrew Michael Correll, 30, of Houston, pleaded guilty to making fraudulent claims totaling more than $850,000 to the Comptroller’s Unclaimed Property Division in June 2020.

A Harris County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication, sentenced him to five years’ probation and 200 hours of community service. He must attend and complete two court-ordered education programs, pay a $1,500 fine and $290 in court costs.

Dismissed in his plea agreement was the related charge of forgery with the intent to obtain property greater than $300,000. He pleaded guilty to submitting false statements to obtain property greater than $300,000. Both offenses are first-degree felonies, punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Employees in the Comptroller’s Unclaimed Property Division became suspicious of the numerous claims the defendant filed and notified the Comptroller’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID). An investigation revealed that a forged document and false statements were made when submitting the claims. Several affidavits obtained from the entities involved stated that the defendant had no authority to make claims or access the funds.

Oct. 12

Bobby Dion Mitchell, 55, of Bastrop, was indicted for allegedly forging a government treasury warrant.

Mitchell is charged with forgery, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The indictment was enhanced from a state jail felony offense to a second-degree felony offense based on previous felony convictions from other unrelated cases.

In June 2020, the defendant forged and attempted to cash a warrant at two local gas stations that purportedly had been issued by a state agency for crime victims. During a voluntary interview, the defendant advised that he was authorized to endorse his spouse’s warrant when further investigation revealed it was endorsed and cashed without the victim’s consent.

The case is pending prosecution in Bastrop County.

Oct. 8

Raul Guerra Morales, 35, of Austin, was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards with stolen credit/debit card information to illegally acquire 32 gallons of diesel fuel worth $97 from a chain grocery store in Kyle.

Officers reportedly observed the suspect acquiring the fuel. Store receipts show that he completed two transactions at the pump using two different cards. Investigators found two of 14 counterfeit gift cards used in the fraudulent transactions.

A motor fuel tax inspection revealed an approximate 100-gallon auxiliary fuel tank and two 60-gallon saddle tanks behind a sleeper cab that was modified from the box portion of his van. The vehicle was outfitted with a pump, fuel hose, nozzle and digital fuel meter to receive, transport and dispense fuel.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Hays County.

Oct. 6

Pavel Victor Reyes Flores, 40, of Kermit, was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally acquire 122 gallons of diesel fuel worth $350 from a Kyle chain convenience store. The suspect was dispensing fuel into a large auxiliary fuel tank in the bed of his pickup, according to reports. During the investigation, officers found 26 counterfeit cards. A motor fuel tax inspection showed a fuel tank of approximately 224 gallons at full capacity with diesel fuel.

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

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

Mirza Tanveer Akhtar, 52, of Kaufman, was arrested for allegedly operating a coin-operated amusement machine at his place of busines without a license or certificate.

During an inspection of the premises, an investigator identified that one of six machines did not have a current state tax decal and was sealed in accordance with the Occupations Code. An investigation determined that the suspect owned and displayed the coin-operated amusement machine without a general business license or registration certificate.

Akhtar is charged with operating a coin-operated amusement machine without a general business license or registration certificate, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Kaufman County.

Oct. 1

John Alihemati, 62, of El Paso, pleaded guilty to falsifying information on joint statements (vehicle title applications).

An El Paso County district judge granted him deferred adjudication, sentenced him to two years’ probation and 100 hours of community service. He was also placed on curfew and ordered to attend theft counseling, pay a $1,000 fine and $1,366 in restitution.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of signing a false statement which is a motor vehicle tax code crime. All three offenses are third-degree felonies, punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that on five different occasions, the defendant filed motor vehicle titles to the tax assessor-collector with forged buyers’ signatures containing false material facts on the joint statements. The sale amount of the vehicle displayed on the title was being reported at a lower price.

November

Nov. 18

Diosvany Anaya Fajardo, 43, of Houston pleaded guilty to illegally obtaining 123 gallons of diesel fuel worth $259 from a Pasadena gas station in August 2020.

A Harris County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced him to four years’ probation. He also ordered him to pay $290 in court costs.

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

Department of Public Safety (DPS) investigators observed the defendant parking at a diesel pump on the far end of the station. Fuel from multiple pumps were dispensed into his modified truck. His truck bed was equipped with auxiliary fuel tanks and dispensary equipment.

A Comptroller investigator’s inspection at the scene confirmed that the defendant’s truck functioned as a fuel transport vehicle.

Ernesto Rodriguez Martinez, 39, of Addison pleaded guilty to illegally appropriating 150 gallons of diesel fuel.

A Dallas County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication, and sentenced him to three years’ probation. He was also ordered to pay $290 in court costs with a fine of $2,000 that was probated.

Martinez admitted to transporting motor fuel without shipping documents and evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax. Both charges are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In August 2020, an investigation revealed that Martinez intentionally and knowingly transported motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents and evaded motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax.

Nov. 4

Maikel Avila-Perez, 41, of Houston, pleaded guilty to using re-encoded credit cards to fraudulently obtain 30 gallons of diesel fuel worth $94.

A Harris County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication, sentenced him to five years’ probation and 60 hours of community service. He also ordered him to pay $290 in court costs.

Avila-Perez admitted to engaging in a fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A charge for possession of counterfeit credit cards with less than five items was dismissed as part of his plea agreement.

In January 2018, local police arrested the defendant after reportedly observing him pumping fuel into an auxiliary tank of a pickup bed while using counterfeit credit/debit cards. The vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense fuel.

Investigators found one of four cards used in the illegal transaction.

Nov. 1

Raj Kumar Tamang, 38, of Fort Worth, was indicted for allegedly obtaining a coin-operated amusement machine license by fraud.

Tamang is charged with obtaining a license by fraud, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and failure to report or provide information to the comptroller, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a fine up to $2,000 or both.

On August 4 and 5, an investigation revealed that the defendant was displaying and operating numerous coin-operated amusement machines registered to another owner, according to reports. Investigators obtained information that he failed to provide records as required.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Mario Echevarria, 51, of Carrollton, pleaded guilty to illegally appropriating 100 gallons of diesel fuel.

A Dallas County district judge sentenced the defendant to 10 years in prison probated for five years.

Martinez admitted to transporting motor fuel without shipping documents and evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax. Both charges are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In September 2020, an investigation revealed that Martinez intentionally and knowingly transported motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents and evaded motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax.

December

Dec. 28

Abdul Ali Surani, 70, of Lewisville and Mohammad Matin Khan, 40, of Carrollton were indicted for not paying taxes on tobacco products.

Surani and Khan are charged with possession of untaxed tobacco, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation determined that the defendants were unlawfully storing and concealing tobacco products with the intent to evade tax being paid.

The case is pending prosecution in Denton County.

Dec. 15

Osvaldo Guerra Rodriguez, 24, Braulio Valle Corona, 27, Adan Ricardo Naranjo Ramos, 29, and Lazaro Antonio Jimenez Oquendo, 28, all of Odessa, were arrested for allegedly unlawfully appropriating 150 gallons of diesel fuel for use on public highways.

The suspects unlawfully acquired diesel fuel from an Odessa fuel station underground storage tank to use in motor vehicles with the intent to establish, maintain or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination to evade motor fuel tax. In the organized crime statute, combination is defined in Texas Penal Code Chapter 71, as three or more persons who collaborate in carrying on criminal activities.

All four suspects are charged with evading motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In addition, Ramos and Oquendo are charged with transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Ector County.

Dec. 8

Yariel Montalvan Fernandez, 35, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded cards with stolen credit/debit card information to illegally acquire 28 gallons of diesel fuel from a Round Rock fuel station in March 2020.

A Williamson County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced him to four years’ probation. He also ordered him to pay a $100 fine and $375 in court costs.

Fernandez admitted to the state jail felony offense of credit card or debit card abuse. A charge for evading or attempting to evade motor fuels tax was dismissed as part of his plea agreement.

The defendant was observed acquiring the diesel fuel. He claimed to have used his own debit card for the purchase. Investigators found 17 counterfeit cards during a vehicle search.

Hugo Alberto Rubio Andino, 31, of Round Rock pleaded guilty to using re-encoded cards with stolen credit/debit card information to illegally acquire 41 gallons of diesel fuel from a Round Rock fuel station in March 2020.

A Williamson County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced him to four years’ probation. He also fined him $100 and ordered him to pay $375 in court costs.

Andino admitted to the state jail felony offense of credit card or debit card abuse. A charge for evading or attempting to evade motor fuels tax was dismissed as part of his plea agreement.

The defendant was observed acquiring the diesel fuel. He claimed to have used his own debit card for the purchase.

Dec. 2

Roger Taracon Rodriguez, 43, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded credit/debit cards to illegally obtain 90 gallons of diesel fuel worth $299 from a Cypress chain grocery store.

A Harris County deputy constable observed the suspect pumping diesel fuel into his pickup truck. A traffic stop was conducted after his vehicle left the premises. An investigation revealed an approximate 100-gallon, large steel auxiliary fuel tank in the bed. The vehicle was equipped with a pump, hose and nozzle to receive, transport and dispense fuel. Sixty-two counterfeit cards were discovered in the investigation.

Rodriguez 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 a fine up to $10,000, and evading motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Dec. 1

Marcus Jermaine Malbro, 27, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit/debit cards to fraudulently purchase 195 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 from a chain convenience store in Baytown last winter.

Malbro is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuels tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In March 2021, a loss prevention manager provided the investigator with video surveillance of the transactions. The defendant was positively identified in the video through a driver’s license photo, according to reports. An auxiliary tank was found in the bed of his pickup truck.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Jeffrey Jason Hogue, 64, of Missouri City pleaded guilty to cigarette tax stamp offenses at his place of business in August 2020.

A Fort Bend County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication, sentenced him to three years’ probation and 50 hours of community service. He also fined him $1,000 and ordered him to pay $290 in court costs and fees.

Hogue admitted to multiple counts of books and records violations, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The defendant filed false monthly distributor reports with the Comptroller’s office significantly underreporting his cigarette inventory purchases.

During an on-site inspection, investigators determined that the defendant failed to stamp a large quantity of cigarettes within a required timeframe. He also did not have a sufficient amount of cigarette tax stamps. Investigators seized the unstamped cigarettes.

Atiar Hossen, 30, of Euless pleaded guilty to operating amusement machines without proper documentation.

A Tarrant County court granted the defendant deferred adjudication, sentenced him to eight months’ probation and was credited with one day time served. He was ordered to pay $272 in court costs. Hossen admitted to operating amusement machines without a general business license or registration certificate, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine up to $4,000, or both.

In May 2021, an amusement machine inspection of his business revealed that one of four machines did not have the required state tax decal affixed. An investigation determined that the defendant owned and displayed the amusement machines without a license or certificate.

Carlos Delacruz, 33, of Dallas pleaded guilty to illegally appropriating 52 gallons of diesel fuel.

A Dallas County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication, and sentenced him to three years’ probation. He was also ordered to pay $290 in court costs.

Delacruz admitted to transporting motor fuel without shipping documents and evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax. Both charges are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The defendant accepted a plea agreement of guilty with both charges running concurrently.

In August 2020, an investigation revealed that Delacruz intentionally and knowingly transported motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents and evaded motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup tax.

July - September

July

July 31

Kevin Lemar Sanchez, 31, of Houston pleaded guilty to forgery of a treasury warrant.

A Harris County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and sentenced him to two years’ probation and $500 in restitution, plus fees and court costs.

Sanchez admitted to forgery of a government instrument, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In September 2017, an investigation revealed that the defendant intentionally forged and cashed a treasury warrant at a chain grocery store.

July 29

Leonardo Rodriguez Hidalgo, 42, of Grand Prairie and Reinaldo Rodriguez Moya, 50, of Houston were arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded charge card to fraudulently purchase 29 gallons of diesel fuel worth $85 from a chain convenience store in Gainesville.

An investigation revealed that the suspects allegedly used a counterfeit card to obtain the fuel. Investigators confirmed the fraudulent purchase with a receipt of the transaction from the business.

Hidalgo and Moya are charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents and attempting to evade motor fuel tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., his pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

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

Armando Esponda Lopez, 51, and Rosbel LaRosa Acebo, 38, both of Houston were indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally obtain 281 gallons of diesel fuel and 19 gallons of premium gasoline in March 2021.

Lopez and Acebo are charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. A credit card abuse victim contacted local law enforcement stating that her card was used at a gas station in Garwood, according to reports. The defendants were arrested after an officer reviewed video surveillance and determined that they used counterfeit cards to purchase the fuel.

The gasoline was dispensed into the primary tank of a pickup truck. The diesel fuel was dispensed into two large steel tanks in the cargo trailer and an auxiliary tank in the bed of the truck.

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

Luis Ochoa Cabrera, 59, of Houston was indicted for allegedly purchasing 32 gallons of diesel fuel worth $89 last spring.

Cabrera is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and with credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine up to $10,000.

On May 12, the defendant was under surveillance by investigators who reportedly witnessed him purchasing the fuel with counterfeit cards.

The case is pending prosecution in Colorado County.

July 22

Osmany Romero Peguero, 42, of Odessa was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain 43 gallons of diesel fuel worth $149 and 16 gallons of unleaded gasoline worth $50 from a convenience store in Garden City.

During a search of the suspect’s vehicle, officers confiscated 16 counterfeit cards reportedly used in the fraudulent transactions. A fuel tax inspection uncovered a 90-gallon auxiliary fuel tank in the bed of the suspect’s pickup truck. He allegedly stated in an interview that he did not have shipping documents, a license or permit to transport the fuel.

Peguero is charged with transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax and fraudulent use or possession of more than 10 but fewer than 50 items of credit/debit card information, all second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

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

July 20

Alexis Miguel Matos-Pena, 49, of Odessa was arrested for allegedly possessing re-encoded charge cards.

An officer conducting a fuel tax inspection observed a large auxiliary fuel tank in the flatbed of Matos-Pena’s pickup truck. It was connected to hoses, a fuel pump and a nozzle with a digital meter to dispense the fuel. During the investigation and arrest, nine counterfeit cards were found in the suspect’s possession, according to reports.

Matos-Pena is charged with fraudulent use or possession of more than five but fewer than 10 items of credit/debit card information, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

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

July 16

Ahmad Abed Khalil, 36, of Haslet was arrested for allegedly possessing tobacco products without the state-issued permits required to be posted in public view.

During a compliance inspection of the suspect’s place of business, investigators reportedly noted several health and safety code violations. A cigarette and tobacco retail permit and a sales and use tax permit were not visibly posted in the business as required by statute. A store employee found the tobacco permit, according to reports, but the sales tax permit was never located.

Khalil is charged with possession of tobacco products without a posted tobacco permit, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

July 9

Roberto Yordano Porras-Barreto, 31, of Midland was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally purchase 43 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 from a Garden City convenience store.

The store manager reportedly observed the suspect obtaining the fuel. Video surveillance and receipts from the business confirmed the fraudulent transactions, reports show.

After conducting a motor vehicle inspection, an officer observed a large, metal auxiliary tank laying in the truck bed concealed underneath a black, hard-shell bed cover. A hole cut in the cover exposed the fuel cap. Investigators reportedly found 41 counterfeit cards in the suspect’s possession.

Porras-Barreto is charged with evading motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

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

July 6

Victor Manuel Garcia-Yaque, 38, of Odessa was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently purchase 30 gallons of diesel fuel worth $102 from a Garden City convenience store.

A fuel tax inspection revealed 60- and 90-gallon auxiliary fuel tanks with an electric pump, fuel hose and nozzle in the bed of the pickup truck. During a vehicle search, 32 counterfeit cards were found in the suspect’s possession, reports show.

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

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

July 4

Eduardo Arderi, 44, of Miami, Fla. was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain 77 gallons of diesel fuel worth $147 from a chain convenience store in Euless.

An investigation revealed that the suspect avoided paying motor fuel tax. Reports show that his vehicle had been modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel. Eight counterfeit cards were found in the suspect’s possession, according to reports.

Arderi is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents and evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

July 2

Loannys Martinez-Casa, 38, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded charge cards to illegally purchase 73 gallons of diesel fuel worth $188 at a gas station in East Houston in December 2019.

A Harris County district judge sentenced the defendant to two years in prison, crediting him with 244 days’ time served, plus fees and court costs.

Martinez-Casa admitted to fraudulent use/possession of more than 10 but fewer than 50 items of credit/debit card information, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. A related charge of engaging in a fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, was dismissed in his plea agreement.

Local police observed the suspect conducting multiple fuel transactions and confiscated 33 counterfeit cards from a wallet in his possession. They also discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of his truck. It had been modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

July 1

Cristian Rafael Licea Martinez, 30, of Addison was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally acquire 156 gallons of diesel fuel worth $449 from multiple locations in Grand Prairie.

An investigation revealed the suspect allegedly used counterfeit cards to purchase the fuel. Video surveillance and business receipts confirmed the fraudulent transactions, reports show. Investigators found that the vehicle had been modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

Martinez is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents and attempting to evade motor fuel tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Larides Saez Morales, 32, of Houston was arrested for allegedly purchasing diesel fuel from a Devers gas station.

During a traffic stop, an investigator reportedly discovered a black auxiliary fuel tank hidden inside a black box on the bed of the vehicle. A second fuel tank located on the rear end of the truck reportedly contained a substantial amount of diesel fuel. The vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of motor fuel, reports show.

Morales is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without the required license and unlawful use of a criminal instrument, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

CID assisted the Liberty County Constable’s Office with the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Liberty County.

Yacek Exposito, 39, of Corpus Christi pleaded guilty to using a company fleet card to unlawfully obtain and dispense 502 gallons of diesel fuel.

A Ward County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and sentenced him to six years’ probation and 600 hours of community service. He also fined him $1,500 and ordered him to pay $1,502 in restitution, plus fees and court costs.

Exposito admitted to evading motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendant evaded or attempted to evade motor fuel tax.

Jorge Felix Lopez, 35, pleaded guilty to illegally purchasing motor fuel without the proper documentation.

A Harris County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication (no final conviction), sentencing him to three years’ probation plus fees and court costs.

Lopez admitted to accepting delivery of motor fuel without shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In January 2020, local police reportedly witnessed two suspects dispensing diesel fuel into large “bladder” tanks owned by the defendant. During a motor fuel tax inspection, investigators determined the defendants did not have any shipping documents.

Arnaldo Yuriel Armas-Garcia, 37, of Fountain, Colo. pleaded guilty to using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain 39 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in May 2019.

A Fort Bend County district judge sentenced the defendant to 10 days in jail, crediting him with 10 days’ time served, and ordered him to pay court costs.

Armas-Garcia admitted to credit card abuse, which was reduced from a state jail felony to a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both.

Dismissed in his plea agreement were related charges of evading motor fuel tax and purchasing motor fuel with the intent to evade tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

A store employee witnessed the defendant using counterfeit cards to purchase the fuel. Local police conducted a traffic stop and found he did not have any permits or licenses issued by the Comptroller’s office.

August

August 20

Luis Ochoa Cabrera, 59, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally acquire 68 gallons of diesel fuel worth $149 last winter.

Cabrera is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and with credit card or debit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine up to $10,000.

On February 4, the defendant was observed using counterfeit cards to purchase diesel fuel. Investigators determined that the entire bed of his truck was retrofitted to conceal a 350-gallon fuel tank. It was outfitted with a pump, fuel hose, fuel nozzle and digital meter to deliver fuel to another vehicle, according to reports.

The case is pending prosecution in Lee County.

August 19

Raj Kumar Tamang, 38, of Fort Worth was arrested for allegedly obtaining a coin-operated amusement machine license by fraud and operating coin-operated amusement machines without a license.

An investigation revealed that the suspect was displaying and operating numerous coin-operated amusement machines registered to another owner, according to reports. Investigators obtained information that he failed to provide records as required.

Tamang is charged with obtaining a license by fraud, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and failure to report or provide information to the comptroller, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a fine up to $2,000, or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

August 18

Alexeis Victor Salva-Matos, 36, of Irving was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded cards to fraudulently obtain 107 gallons of diesel fuel worth $199.

Salva-Matos is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, attempting to evade motor fuel tax and fraudulent use or possession of credit or debit card information of more than 10 but fewer than 50 items, all second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. He is also 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 a fine up to $10,000.

In November 2020, an investigation revealed that the defendant intentionally and knowingly attempted to evade motor fuel tax by failing to pay the backup diesel tax liability, and transported motor fuel without a cargo manifest. He was also in possession of counterfeit cards used in acquiring the fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Andy Nunez-Leon, 36, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded charge cards for unlawfully acquiring 37 gallons of diesel fuel in the amount of $99.

A Harris County district judge sentenced the defendant to two days in jail, crediting him with two days’ time served, and ordered him to pay $290 in court costs.

Nunez-Leon admitted to engaging in a fuel transaction without a license, which was reduced from a third-degree felony to a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both.

An investigation revealed that the defendant knowingly and intentionally delivered diesel fuel into an auxiliary fuel tank and acted as a motor fuel transporter without a required license. 22 counterfeit cards were found in his possession.

August 16

Timothy Goff, 54, of Godley was arrested for allegedly falsifying information related to a sales and use tax permit.

An investigation revealed that the suspect provided false information when completing a sales and use tax permit. The permit was not issued due to an existing liability, according to reports.

Goff is charged with tampering with a government 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 up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Johnson County.

August 11

Roshan Mainali, 20, of Irving was arrested for allegedly possessing tobacco products without the state-issued permits required to be posted in public view.

During a compliance inspection of the suspect’s place of business, investigators reportedly confirmed that the tobacco sales permit along with the sales and use tax permit posted were not the originals as required by statute. He advised both originals were located at his residence.

Mainali is charged with possession of tobacco products without a posted tobacco permit, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Osvaldo Martinez-Hernandez, 53, of Midland and Jorge Luis Barreto Cisneros, 28, of Odessa were indicted for allegedly obtaining large amounts of diesel fuel from a West Texas gas location.

Martinez-Hernandez and Cisneros are 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. Hernandez is also charged with unlawful interception, use or disclosure of wire, oral or electronic communications, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The defendants were observed appropriating diesel fuel into large auxiliary fuel tanks in the beds of their trucks. Deputies conducted traffic stops as the vehicles were leaving the premises. They were detained until investigators arrived and conducted a motor fuel tax compliance inspection.

During a consented vehicle search, a remote-control device was found in the center console of Martinez-Hernandez's truck. Investigators suspect that the diesel fuel was unlawfully dispensed by using the remote to place the pumps into maintenance mode while allowing the pumps to free-flow the diesel fuel without any transaction details.

The case is pending prosecution in Midland County.

August 9

Hector Fredy Rios Estrada, 50, of Austin was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully purchase 84 gallons of diesel fuel worth $250 from a chain convenience store.

Investigators conducting joint surveillance observed the suspect perform two transactions and dispense the fuel into a large auxiliary fuel tank in the bed of his truck. They continued rolling surveillance and noticed him stop at another location appropriating fuel into a semi-truck and into an auxiliary tank of a utility truck bed. Nine counterfeit cards were confiscated during a motor fuel tax inspection.

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

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

August 5

Raidel Borrego Cardoso, 35, of Burleson and Jeilier Sarria Gutierrez, 22, of Hialeah, Fl. were arrested for alleged using a re-encoded charge card to illegally acquire 127 gallons of diesel fuel worth $392.

A motor fuel tax inspection revealed a concealed auxiliary fuel tank in the flatbed of the truck. The vehicle was outfitted with a fuel hose, digital meter and nozzle to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel. Gutierrez confirmed that he did not have the required permits or documents.

Cardoso and Gutierrez are charged with attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

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

August 4

Yoandry Pereira Tamayo, 39, of Porter was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully purchase 72 gallons of diesel fuel worth $187 in January 2020.

Tamayo is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest and attempting to evade motor fuel tax, 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., his pickup truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000; and fraudulent use or possession of identifying information with less than 5 items, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine up to $10,000.

A Department of Public Safety (DPS) agent reportedly observed the defendant conducting a fuel transaction using counterfeit cards. An investigation revealed a black fuel bladder in the bed of the defendant’s truck. It was outfitted to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

The case is pending prosecution in Hardin County.

Sergio Garcia Lozano, 53, of Lockhart was indicted for allegedly falsifying information on government records related to vehicle sales.

Lozano is charged with three counts of forgery of motor vehicle title application, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed the defendant listing different sales prices on the application for title from the bill of sale on vehicles to avoid paying the full amount of sales tax. Lozano confirmed in a consensual interview that sales prices on the bill of sale were correct and false or incorrect amounts were recorded on the application of title. The defendant also stated that he was the only one that signed all the applications for the vehicles he sold.

The case is pending prosecution in Caldwell County.

September

Sept. 30

Alberto Almira-Santos, 37, of Pflugerville pleaded guilty to using a re-encoded card with stolen credit/debit card information to fraudulently obtain 82 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in New Braunfels.

A Comal County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication (no final conviction), sentenced him to five years’ probation and 300 hours of community service. He also fined him $2,000 and ordered him to pay $290 in court costs.

Almira-Santos admitted to fraudulent possession of credit/debit card information, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years or life and a fine up to $10,000. The charges of evading motor fuel tax and unlawful use of a criminal instrument were both dismissed as part of his plea agreement.

In June 2020, the defendant was observed illegally acquiring diesel fuel. The store manager recognized him from previous fuel purchases at the same location on seven different occasions as verified by store receipts and surveillance video.

Officers located 127 counterfeit cards during a vehicle inventory. A motor fuel tax 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 inside the truck cab.

Osvaldo Martinez-Hernandez, 54, of Midland pleaded guilty to obtaining large amounts of diesel fuel from a West Texas gas location in September 2020.

A Midland County district judge sentenced the defendant to eight years’ probation and 300 hours of community service. He also ordered him to pay $101,762 in restitution and $290 in court costs.

Martinez-Hernandez admitted to evading motor fuel tax and unlawful interception, use or disclosure of wire, oral or electronic communications, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The charge of transporting motor fuel without shipping documents was dismissed as part of his plea agreement.

The defendant was observed putting diesel fuel into large auxiliary fuel tanks in the bed of his truck. A traffic stop was conducted as his vehicle was leaving the premises. He was detained until investigators could perform a motor fuel tax compliance inspection.

A remote-control device was located in the center console during a consent to search the vehicle. Investigators determined that the diesel fuel was unlawfully dispensed by using the remote to place the pumps into maintenance mode while allowing the pumps to free-flow the fuel without any transaction details.

Sept. 29

Antonio Cedric Foster, 41, of Arlington was arrested for allegedly failing to pay sales tax collected.

An investigation revealed that the suspect was intentionally and knowingly operating his business without a sales and use tax permit, and he did not pay the state taxes owing over $1,500 and under $20,000 from 2016 to 2019.

Foster is charged with failure to remit sales tax collected of $1,500 or more but less than $20,000, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Sept. 28

Yamil Hernandez-Valdes, 34, of Houston pleaded guilty to using a re-encoded charge card to illegally acquire 29 gallons of diesel fuel worth $74 from a Houston gas station.

A Harris County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication and sentenced him to two years’ probation. He also ordered him to pay $350 in court costs and fees.

Dismissed in his plea agreement was the related charge for engaging in a fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. He pleaded guilty to fraudulent use or possession of credit or debit card information with less than five items, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine up to $10,000, was reduced to community supervision.

In February 2020, investigators reportedly observed the defendant dispensing diesel fuel into two auxiliary fuel tanks partially concealed in the truck bed. During a traffic stop, they confiscated a digital information storage card that contained 27 credit/debit card numbers.

Cruz Plasencia, 47, of Houston pleaded guilty to concealing motor fuel in violation of the Texas Motor Fuels Tax Code for an offense which occurred in January 2020.

A Harris County district judge sentenced the defendant to three days in jail, crediting him with two days’ time served, and ordered him to pay $615 in court costs and fees. As part of his plea agreement, the charge for transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, was reduced to a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

Local police reportedly witnessed the defendant driving a truck into a trucking yard. He allegedly dispensed fuel from a tank in his truck into a large bladder owned by another person.

Sept. 24

Edel Gonzalez, 32, of Houston pleaded guilty to using a charge card to illegally obtain 38 gallons of diesel fuel worth $132.

A Harris County district judge sentenced the defendant to 20 days in jail, crediting him with 18 days’ time served, and ordered him to pay $335 in court costs and fees.

As part of his plea agreement, the charges for engaging in a fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and displaying a fictitious license plate, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 day in jail, a fine up to $2,000 or both, were dismissed. The charge for credit/debit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine up to $10,000, was adjudicated pursuant to 12.44 of the Texas Penal Code and his punishment was reduced to misdemeanor confinement in the county jail.

In May 2018, local police observed the defendant dispensing large quantities of diesel fuel into an auxiliary tank in the truck bed. Investigators determined that the vehicle was modified to transport fuel.

Sept. 21

Yunier Cruz, 29, of Pflugerville was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded cards with stolen credit/debit card information to unlawfully acquire 62 gallons of diesel fuel worth $179 from a chain grocery store.

During a consent to search of a vehicle, investigators located and confiscated 47 counterfeit cards. A motor fuel tax inspection revealed an approximate 100-gallon auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of the truck. It was outfitted with a pump and fuel hose to receive, transport and dispense fuel. Cruz confirmed that he did not have the required permits or documents.

Cruz is charged with evading or attempting to evade motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and credit/debit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Hays County.

Ajitpal Singh Toor, 37, of Fort Worth and Jaswinder Singh Randhawa, 69, of Southlake were arrested for allegedly possessing tobacco products without the state-issued permit required to be posted in public view.

During a compliance inspection of the suspects’ business, an investigator reportedly observed several violations. A cigarette and tobacco retail permit was not visibly posted in the business as required by statute, and notification forms were not completed by employees.

Toor and Randhawa are charged with possession of tobacco products without a posted tobacco permit, a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Johnson County.

Lakeria Washington, 24, of Houston was indicted for allegedly forging a government instrument.

Washington is charged with forgery of a government financial instrument, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In May 2018, the defendant forged and cashed a treasury warrant at a chain grocery store that purportedly had been issued by a state agency for hurricane victims.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Sept. 20

Pedro Ruiz Crespo, 49, of Houston pleaded guilty to concealing motor fuel in violation of the Texas Motor Fuels Tax Code which occurred in January 2020.

A Harris County district judge sentenced the defendant to three days in jail, crediting him with two days’ time served, and ordered him to pay $595 in court costs and fees.

As part of his plea agreement, the charge for transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, was reduced to a Class A misdemeanor which is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both. Local police reportedly witnessed the defendant driving a truck into a trucking yard. He allegedly dispensed fuel from a tank in his truck into a large bladder owned by another person.

Sept. 18

Paula Najera, 25, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly failing to maintain the required records on tobacco purchases.

An on-site inspection revealed that the suspect, who owned the business, failed to maintain and produce the required records from July 2020 to July 2021.

Najera is charged with failure to maintain requisite tax books and records, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Sept. 15

Rodolfo Giniebra-Santos, 26, of Pflugerville pleaded guilty to using a re-encoded card with stolen credit/debit card information to fraudulently obtain 82 gallons of diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in New Braunfels.

A Comal County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication (no final conviction), sentenced him to five years’ probation and 300 hours of community service. He also fined him $500 and ordered him to pay $290 in court costs.

Giniebra-Santos admitted to fraudulent use of credit/debit card information, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years or life and a fine up to $10,000. The charges of evading motor fuel tax and unlawful use of a criminal instrument were both dismissed as part of his plea agreement.

In June 2020, the defendant was observed illegally acquiring diesel fuel. The store manager recognized him from previous fuel purchases at the same location on seven different occasions as verified by store receipts and surveillance video.

Officers located 127 counterfeit cards during a vehicle inventory. A motor fuel tax 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 that was inside the truck cab.

Sept. 13

Donald James Tigert, 63, of Frisco was arrested for allegedly operating a coin-operated amusement machine without a license.

An inspection revealed that the suspect was displaying and operating a coin-operated amusement machine with an expired state tax decal. He was identified as the owner of the amusement machine, and he did not have an active general business license or registration certificate.

Tigert is charged with operating amusement machines without a general business license or registration certificate, a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Johnson County.

Sept. 7

Orlando Martinez-Borrell, 28, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully purchase 67 gallons of diesel fuel worth $174.

A Harris County district judge granted the defendant deferred adjudication, sentenced him to 4 years’ probation and ordered him to pay $290 in court costs.

Martinez-Borrell admitted to fraudulent possession of credit card information of more than 10 but fewer than 50 items, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The charge of engaging in a fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, was dismissed as part of his plea agreement.

Local police reportedly observed the defendant dispensing fuel into an auxiliary tank located in the bed of a truck. Ten counterfeit cards were found in his possession. The vehicle was modified with pumps and hoses to receive and dispense fuel.

Sept. 1

Valerie Richelle Ellis, 34, and John Anthony Rodrigues, 39, of The Colony were arrested for allegedly failing to pay sales tax collected.

An investigation revealed that the suspects were operating their business without a sales and use tax permit. Records provided to the investigator confirmed that sales tax was collected, however did not pay the state taxes totaling several thousands of dollars.

Ellis and Rodrigues are charged with failure to remit sales tax collected of $1,500 or more but less than $20,000, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Denton County.

Zachary Dale Rucas, 34, of Hico pleaded guilty to having 80 gallons of red dyed diesel fuel stored in his vehicle for use in violation of the Texas Motor Fuels Tax Code.

A Howard County judge sentenced the defendant to 12 months’ probation and 24 hours of community service. He also fined him $500 and ordered him to pay $270 in court costs.

Rucas admitted to concealing motor fuel, a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

An investigator discovered the defendant concealing the dyed diesel fuel during fuel compliance inspections at various oil rig locations. Both the main supply and auxiliary fuel tanks of his truck contained the dyed diesel.

April - June

April

April 29

Steven Adam Moore, 42, of Crowley was arrested for allegedly operating amusement machines at his place of business without a license.

Local police contacted CID investigators about the amusement machines. During a subsequent inspection of a game room on the premises, investigators identified multiple amusement machines displayed in violation of the Occupations Code. An investigation determined that the suspect owned and displayed amusement machines without a general business license or registration certificate.

Moore is charged with operating amusement machines without a license, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine up to $4,000, or both.

The Fort Worth Police Department assisted CID with the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

April 28

Jose Hernandez Suarez, 40, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently purchase approximately 99 gallons of diesel fuel worth $199 from a chain convenience store in Irving.

The suspect allegedly purchased the fuel through two illegal transactions. Local police conducted a traffic stop and recovered 19 counterfeit cards in his possession, reports show. Two active felony warrants previously had been issued for the suspect for allegedly violating motor fuel tax requirements.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Carlos Cabrera-Alonso, 26, of Grand Prairie was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally purchase approximately 91 gallons of diesel fuel worth $186 from a chain convenience store in Irving.

The suspect allegedly purchased the fuel through four illegal transactions. Local police conducted a traffic stop and reportedly recovered seven counterfeit cards in his possession. Two active felony warrants previously had been issued for alleged violations of motor fuel tax requirements. Cabrera-Alonso is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without a manifest or shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

April 27

Rosbel La Rosa Acebo, 37, of Miami, Fla. pleaded guilty to 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 year.

A Harris County district judge granted him deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and sentenced him to four years’ probation, 120 hours of community service and ordered him to pay fees and court costs.

Acebo admitted to motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In October 2019, a store employee witnessed the defendant using re-encoded credit cards to purchase diesel fuel. During a subsequent traffic stop, local police did not find any permits or licenses and confiscated 11 counterfeit cards from him. Investigators also discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of his pickup truck.

April 23

Maria Doblado-Barges, 26, of Lexington was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally acquire 145 gallons of diesel fuel worth $300 from several gas stations in Bastrop County last October.

Doblado-Barges is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Investigators reportedly observed the defendant using counterfeit cards to purchase the fuel. She had been observed with other suspects utilizing the same vehicles at a residence in Lee County, where the fuel theft scheme started and ended. Two other co-defendants were previously indicted.

The case is pending prosecution in Lee County.

April 22

Gunter Joan Gomez Heredia, 31, and Darien Rodriguez Franco, 36, both of Odessa, were arrested for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to illegally obtain 46 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 from a fueling station in Seminole.

Video surveillance along with an eyewitness spotted the suspects obtaining the fuel from a pump. Local law enforcement conducted a traffic stop and identified Heredia. Franco allegedly provided two fictitious forms of identification.

During the ensuing vehicle inspection, an investigator observed a large, metal, homemade auxiliary tank in the bed of the suspects’ pickup truck, concealed by a white, hard-shelled bed cover. Heredia reportedly stated that the tank could hold 250 gallons of fuel. The vehicle was outfitted with a pump, hoses and a nozzle to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel, reports show.

Heredia and Franco are charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Heredia is also charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The sheriffs’ offices in Andrews and Gaines counties assisted CID with the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Andrew County.

April 16

Rolando Ortiz-Utrera, 33, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded gift cards to illegally purchase 116 gallons of diesel fuel worth $302 in March 2019 from a Pearland chain convenience store.

A Brazoria County district judge granted him deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and sentenced him to two years’ probation and 80 hours of community service, ordering him to pay a $500 fine plus fees and court costs.

Ortiz-Utrera admitted to unlawful use of a criminal instrument, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Dismissed in the plea agreement was a related charge of motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

On March 22, 2019, local police apprehended the defendant while dispensing fuel into an auxiliary tank concealed in his pickup truck. Store employees observed him attempting to use multiple credit cards at the pump to complete the transactions. Two counterfeit cards containing credit card information were found in his possession.

April 15

Jonathan Diego Martinez, 21, of Houston was indicted for allegedly falsifying records at his place of business.

Martinez is charged with two counts of making a false entry into records, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

A CID investigator received a complaint regarding the defendant’s business selling stolen goods. The investigator conducted a sales tax inspection and issued the defendant a records demand. An investigation revealed that he failed to report taxable sales for the second quarter of 2020 and did not keep purchase invoices of taxable items.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Dennis Jimenez Gallardo, 26, of Katy pleaded guilty to using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully purchase diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Katy in April 2019.

A Fort Bend County district judge sentenced him to two years’ probation; 200 hours of community service; a $1,000 fine plus court costs; and $38.63 in restitution along with a letter of apology to the retailer.

Gallardo admitted to credit/debit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement for six months up to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Dismissed in the plea agreement were related charges of motor fuel tax evasion and purchasing motor fuel with the intent to evade a tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

A charge of unlawful use of a criminal instrument, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, also was dismissed.

On April 30, 2019, local police identified the defendant’s pickup truck with a fuel tank welded onto the bed. The modified vehicle was outfitted with hoses and nozzles to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel.

April 13

Yainel Maturell Fernandez, 31, of Houston was indicted for allegedly possessing re-encoded gift cards containing credit card information.

Fernandez is charged with fraudulent use/possession of credit/debit card information, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

During a traffic stop, a Harris County deputy sheriff detained the defendant, then arrested him after confirming two active felony warrants. Numerous gift cards and credit cards were found in his wallet, according to reports. CID investigators discovered five counterfeit gift cards with credit card information not issued to the defendant during a search incidental to a lawful arrest.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Yimi Bentancourt Ramires, 40, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain 154 gallons of diesel fuel worth $299 at a Baytown chain convenience store last October.

Ramires 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 a fine up to $10,000.

The store manager observed the defendant purchasing the fuel and recognized him from previous occasions. The manager called local police, who captured the defendant a short distance away after he departed the premises.

He reportedly was driving a pickup truck with a large auxiliary tank in the bed, capable of holding more than 100 gallons of fuel. A total of 26 counterfeit cards were found in his possession, reports show.

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

April 9

Eligo Benavides, 40, of Alamo pleaded guilty to unlawfully obtaining diesel fuel.

A Fort Bend County district judge granted him deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and sentenced him to three years’ probation; 200 hours of community service; a $1,500 fine plus fees; and $107.27 in restitution along with a letter of apology.

Benavides admitted to unlawful use of a criminal instrument, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Dismissed in the plea agreement was a related charge of motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendant intentionally and knowingly failed to pay the backup tax liability by illegally appropriating diesel fuel, and unlawfully used a vehicle modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of motor fuel.

April 8

Alfredo Alvarez Solis, 23, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using credit/debit cards to illegally acquire approximately 80 gallons of diesel fuel worth $147.

Solis is charged with evading or attempting to evade fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation revealed that the defendant pumped fuel into an auxiliary tank of his box truck acting as a motor fuel transporter. A local police officer reportedly found 14 credit/debit cards in his possession.

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

April 6

Asif Ali, 46, of Tyler was indicted for allegedly obtaining a coin-operated amusement license by fraud and purchasing untaxed tobacco products from an unlicensed distributor.

Ali is charged with obtaining a coin-operated amusement license by fraud, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, and possessing tobacco products with tax due, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Local law enforcement contacted a CID investigator in reference to the amusement machine. During an inspection, the investigator identified it as a “one fish table-type” coin-operated amusement machine with no tax decal that allegedly was owned by the suspect. An investigation determined that the defendant had failed to apply for the 2021 tax year license or registration certificate.

The investigator reviewed the registration certificate application dated Aug. 17, 2020 and noticed two serial numbers. One amusement machine matched one serial number, but the defendant claimed to not have had the second machine when the application was completed.

A retail tobacco inspection identified multiple boxes of tobacco products without invoices. The investigator further determined that some of the products were not purchased through a licensed distributor. The case is pending prosecution in Morris County.

April 5

Julius Tyler Dickens, 29, of Beaumont was arrested for allegedly making a false entry related to a sales and use tax exemption certificate.

The suspect purchased furniture and advised the business that he had a tax exemption. He provided false information when completing a sales and use tax exemption certificate and was not affiliated with the business listed on the form. The founder of the entity did not authorize him to use the business’ information for the purchase.

Dickens is charged with tampering with a government document with the intent to defraud, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and with false entry on tax records (sales and use tax exempt certificate), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office arrested the suspect on the warrants served during the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Hardin County.

April 1

Roberto Ariel Torres-Carralero, 53, of Hialeah Gardens, Fla.; Alexey Romero-Perez, 45, of Homestead, Fla. and Freyzer Zaldivar-Rodriguez, 39, of Odessa were indicted for allegedly unlawfully appropriating several hundred gallons of diesel fuel for use on public highways.

Torres-Carralero, Romero-Perez and Zaldivar-Rodriguez are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The defendants allegedly obtained the fuel from a West Texas Gas fuel station storage tank to use in motor vehicles with the intent to establish, maintain or participate in a combination or in the profits of combination to evade motor fuel tax.

The case is pending prosecution in Midland County.

Orlando Martinez-Borrell, 27, of Katy was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain 67 gallons of diesel fuel worth $174.

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

On Jan. 21, 2020, local police reportedly observed the defendant dispensing fuel into an auxiliary tank located in the bed of a pickup truck. Officers conducted a traffic stop and confiscated 10 counterfeit cards in his possession, reports show.

The Houston Police Department arrested the defendant and CID assisted with the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Salvador Perez Camacho, 30, of Odessa was indicted for allegedly transporting approximately 80 gallons of untaxed red-dyed diesel fuel.

Camacho 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 a fine up to $10,000.

In February 2020, the defendant allegedly stored the fuel in the external fuel tank of a pickup truck. 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 Ector County.

May

May 29

Eddy Suarez-Velazquez, 34, of Odessa was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently purchase approximately 61 gallons of diesel fuel worth $199 from a Seminole gas station.

The suspect allegedly purchased the fuel through two illegal transactions. Local police conducted a traffic stop, and a vehicle inspection uncovered a large metal auxiliary fuel tank under a black rubber mat. A large hose, digital meter and nozzle were attached to the tank, according to reports. The suspect was arrested on two active felony warrants.

Suarez-Velazquez 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 a fine up to $10,000.

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

May 28

Dien Phuc Nguyen, 51, of Watauga was arrested for allegedly operating amusement machines at his place of business without proper documentation.

During an inspection of his game room, investigators identified 10 machines that did not have the required state tax decals affixed. An investigation determined that the suspect owned and displayed the machines without a license or certificate.

Nguyen is charged with operating amusement machines without a general business license or registration certificate, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine up to $4,000, or both.

The Watauga Police Department arrested the suspect during the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

May 24

Michael Horton, 20, John Dudley, 30, and Marcus Malbro, 26, all of Houston, were indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain 58 gallons of diesel fuel worth $152.

Each member of the trio is charged with fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and with unlawful use of a criminal instrument, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Local police responded to a call after convenience store staff recognized a suspicious vehicle pumping diesel fuel. Another vehicle identified at the location also reportedly was involved. All three suspects were observed pumping diesel fuel into the two pickup trucks, according to reports.

Upon arrival, officers confiscated three counterfeit credit/debit cards allegedly in the possession of two of the suspects. Vehicle inspections determined that both pickup trucks contained auxiliary tanks equipped to transport large quantities of fuel.

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

May 19

Hm Anuik, 25, of Euless was arrested for allegedly operating amusement machines at two of his businesses without a license.

During an inspection of his two game rooms, investigators confirmed that one of four machines at one location and five machines at another location did not have the required tax decals affixed, according to reports. An investigation determined that the suspect owned and displayed the amusement machines without proper documentation.

Anuik is charged with two counts of operating amusement machines without a general business license or registration certificate, each a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine up to $4,000, or both.

Both cases are pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

May 18

Atiar Hossen, 29, and Md Ashiful Hoque, 34, both of Euless, were arrested for allegedly operating amusement machines at their place of business without proper documentation.

During an amusement machine inspection of the suspects’ game room, investigators reportedly found that one of four machines did not have the required state tax decal affixed. An investigation determined that the suspects owned and displayed the amusement machines without a license or certificate.

Hossen and Hoque each are charged with operating amusement machines without a general business license or registration certificate, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine up to $4,000, or both.

The cases are pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Felicia Yvonne Polk, 39, of Houston pleaded true to violating terms of her four-year probation that she was serving for forgery of a government instrument. She violated terms of her probation by committing assault – family violence and by failing a random drug test.

A Harris County district judge sentenced the defendant to 30 days in jail, crediting her with 17 days’ time served, and ordered her to pay fees and court costs.

Polk was adjudicated guilty of attempted forgery of a government instrument, a felony punishable by confinement for six months up to two years in a state jail and a fine up to $10,000. She had been on probation since November 2018.

She passed and cashed a counterfeit state treasury check, called a warrant, that purportedly had been issued by a state agency for hurricane victims.

May 17

Alexander Ortiz-Carranzana, 36, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded charge cards to illegally purchase 83 gallons of diesel fuel worth $200 from a Pearland convenience store in 2019.

A Brazoria County district judge sentenced Ortiz-Carranzana to two years’ probation and 160 hours of community service and ordered him to pay a $300 fine plus fees and court costs.

Ortiz-Carranzana admitted to evading a fuel tax. The evading motor fuel tax violation and the fraudulent possession of more than 10 but fewer than 50 identifying items are both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The fraudulent use/possession of identifying items was dismissed as part of the plea deal. Local police responded to a call from convenience store staff concerning the defendant’s prior fraudulent purchases. Upon arrival, police observed him dispensing fuel into a flatbed pickup truck and confiscated 29 counterfeit cards in his possession.

An inspection of the vehicle revealed an auxiliary fuel tank underneath the flatbed equipped with nozzles, pumps and hoses designed to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

May 14

Javier Jimenez Garcia, 21, of Lubbock was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally purchase 30 gallons of diesel fuel worth $100 from a Seminole gas station.

Local police identified the suspect’s vehicle parked by a fuel pump. He and a companion (see May 2 summary below) abandoned the pickup truck on foot but were later apprehended after a search of the area.

A subsequent vehicle inspection revealed a large, black, plastic auxiliary fuel tank in the truck’s bed. A hose attached to an electric pump and a set of booster cables were hooked to a car battery to dispense fuel. Officers confiscated 31 Walmart gift cards during the arrest.

Garcia is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, transporting motor fuel without shipping documents and fraudulent use or possession of more than 10 but fewer than 50 items of identifying information. All three charges are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

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

May 4

MD Rashedur Rahman, 30, of Arlington was arrested for allegedly obtaining a coin-operated amusement machine license by fraud and operating coin-operated amusement machines without a license at his place of business.

An investigation of his game room revealed the suspect was displaying and operating numerous coin-operated amusement machines without the required tax decals affixed, according to reports. Investigators obtained information that he submitted the registration certificate through fraud or misrepresentation.

Rahman is charged with obtaining a coin-operated amusement license by fraud, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is accused of three counts of operating a coin-operated amusement machine without a license, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The Fort Worth Police Department assisted CID with the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

May 3

Rafael Perez Hung, 34, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain 35 gallons of diesel fuel worth $90 from a Pearland chain convenience store in November 2019.

A Brazoria County district judge sentenced him to two years’ probation in lieu of 364 days in jail, ordering him to perform 120 hours of community service and pay a $2,000 fine plus fees.

Hung admitted to unlawful use of a criminal instrument, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The charge was reduced in the plea agreement to a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine up to $4,000, or both. Dismissed was a related charge of motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. On Nov. 5, a store employee reportedly witnessed what appeared to be an unlawful transaction at a gas pump and alerted local police. Upon apprehending the defendant, 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.

May 2

Michel Alzugaray-Ruano, 24, of Miami, Fla. was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally purchase 30 gallons of diesel fuel worth $100 from a Seminole gas station.

Local police identified the suspect’s vehicle parked by a fuel pump. He and a companion (see May 14 summary above) abandoned the pickup truck on foot but were later apprehended after a search of the area.

During a subsequent vehicle inspection, investigators discovered a large, black, plastic auxiliary fuel tank in the truck bed. A hose attached to an electric pump and a set of booster cables were hooked to a car battery to dispense the fuel, according to reports. Officers located 31 Walmart gift cards near the suspect.

Alzugaray-Ruano is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, transporting motor fuel without shipping documents and fraudulent use or possession of more than 10 but fewer than 50 items of identifying information. All three charges are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

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

May 1

Pavel Rodriguez-Jimenez, 40, of Austin was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully purchase 76 gallons of diesel fuel worth $200 from an Austin chain convenience store in March 2020.

He 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 a fine up to $10,000.

Investigators conducting surveillance allegedly observed the defendant’s vehicle containing an auxiliary fuel tank, fuel pump, hose and nozzle. They reportedly witnessed the suspect purchasing the fuel using two counterfeit cards.

During an inventory of the property, investigators confiscated 32 counterfeit cards, according to reports.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Jerry Wayne Graham, 66, of Nacogdoches pleaded guilty to misrepresenting his tax permit status and selling tobacco products without a valid permit in October 2019.

A Nacogdoches County judge sentenced him to one year’s probation in lieu of a year in jail and ordered him to pay a $200 fine plus court costs.

Graham admitted to selling tobacco without a valid permit and misleading the Comptroller’s office in violation of the state tax code. Both offenses are Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine up to $4,000, or both.

During a compliance inspection, the defendant produced a sales tax certificate and a tobacco permit. The permit was non-active and not for the address of the location being inspected. He claimed that both documents were valid for the location during the inspection.

Wilmer Brizuela-Garcia, 42, of Houston pleaded guilty to illegally obtaining approximately 69 gallons of diesel fuel.

A Montgomery County district judge sentenced him to two years’ probation in lieu of a year in jail, ordering him to perform 80 hours of community service and pay fees and court costs. Brizuela-Garcia admitted to motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. In the plea agreement, the charges were reduced to Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine up to $4,000, or both.

On March 11, 2020, investigators conducted a joint surveillance operation on the defendant. During a traffic stop, they inspected his vehicle and discovered that it was equipped with an auxiliary tank designed to store and transport fuel.

June

June 30

Jose Ramirez Urtiaga, 31, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally obtain 254 gallons of diesel fuel worth $687 from a Boyd gas station.

An investigation revealed that the suspect allegedly purchased the fuel through seven fraudulent transactions. Officers reportedly recovered 67 counterfeit cards in his possession. His flatbed truck was modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel, according to reports.

Urtiaga is charged with fraudulent possession or use of more than 50 items of identifying information, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000; motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine 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 a fine up to $10,000.

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

Tariq Khalifa, 39, of Fort Worth was arrested for allegedly operating coin-operated amusement machines without a license.

Local law enforcement received complaints about the suspect’s business and contacted CID investigators. Upon inspection, they found five coin-operated machines, but the registration certificate listed six machines at the business location.

After making contact with the suspect, he reportedly disclosed that the sixth machine was at his residence. Investigators confirmed its presence with documenting photos of the alleged violation.

Khalifa is charged with operating a coin-operated amusement machine without a license or registration certificate, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

June 24

Yudiel Infante Garcia, 39, of of Irving was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally obtain 42 gallons of diesel fuel worth $98 from a convenience store.

During a traffic stop, local police stated that the suspect allegedly purchased the fuel at another gas station. A CID investigator reportedly recovered 29 counterfeit cards in the suspect’s possession. An investigation determined that the suspect’s flatbed “dually” pickup truck was modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel.

Garcia is charged with fraudulent possession or use of more than 10 but less than 50 items of identifying information; motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, all second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. He is also 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 a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

June 22

James Ali Koneiber, 61, of Fort Worth was arrested for allegedly purchasing untaxed tobacco products from unlicensed distributors.

A retail tobacco site inspection reportedly produced invoices showing purchases of tobacco products from an unlicensed, out-of-state distributor with no taxes paid from December 2019 to August 2020. Investigators determined that multiple purchases from two companies were not permitted as tobacco distributors.

Koneiber is charged with possessing tobacco products with tax 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 Hopkins County.

Candyce Lee “Candy” Chazel, 63, of Odessa was indicted for allegedly defrauding officials into issuing her documents required to operate “eight-liner” electronic slot machines.

Chazel is charged with obtaining an amusement machine license or registration certificate by fraud, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

A joint investigation revealed the defendant had transported several of the video gambling machines from locations in and around Odessa and Crane into Hood County without a license or registration certificate. Chazel allegedly falsified two registration renewal applications for the machines in January using information belonging to her deceased husband.

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

June 17

Frank Dayan Perez Reyes, 31, of Venus was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain 65 gallons of diesel fuel worth $120 at a Mansfield gas station.

An investigation revealed that the suspect allegedly used counterfeit cards to illegally acquire the fuel. He used a flatbed dually pickup truck to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel without proper documentation, according to reports.

Reyes is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000; motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine 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 a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Yelson Martinez Valdes, 27, of Irving was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully acquire 156 gallons of diesel fuel worth $448 from chain convenience stores in Dallas, Carrollton and Grand Prairie.

The suspect allegedly used counterfeit cards to obtain the fuel from several gas stations. Video surveillance and receipts from the businesses confirmed the fraudulent transactions, reports show. An investigation determined that he used his pickup truck to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel without proper documentation.

Valdes is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000; and unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the truck), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Alexandra Elizabeth Rodriguez, 49, of Venus was arrested for unlawfully acquiring re-encoded charge card information to use in illegal purchases of diesel fuel.

During the execution of a search warrant of the suspect’s residence, law enforcement investigators determined that the suspect was producing counterfeit cards for others’ use to fraudulently obtain and resell diesel fuel. The suspect allegedly defrauded victims by collecting their debit/credit card information and using it without their consent. In other related cases, Frank Dayan Perez Reyes and Yudiel Infante Garcia were arrested on charges of illegally purchasing diesel fuel with counterfeit cards.

Rodriguez is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

CID assisted the Mansfield and Irving police departments in the joint investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

June 15

Maikel Leyva-Rodriguez, 38, of Austin was arrested for allegedly transporting 50 gallons of diesel fuel without proper documentation.

During a motor vehicle tax inspection at a truck yard, officers reportedly observed the suspect disconnect a fuel pump from a concealed auxiliary tank and place a hose and nozzle on his flatbed truck. The vehicle was outfitted to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of fuel to semi-tractor trailers, according to reports.

Four counterfeit charge cards were confiscated during a consensual search of the truck. Investigators claim the suspect admitted delivering the fuel to the location without having any permits.

Leyva-Rodriguez is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, 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 Travis County.

Mohsin Mansurali Dauva, 34, of Leander was indicted for allegedly purchasing untaxed tobacco products from an unlicensed distributor and failing to maintain the required records.

Dauva is charged with possessing tobacco products having tax due and failure to maintain requisite tax books and records, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

CID received a complaint stating the defendant was purchasing and selling tobacco products from two businesses. A retail tobacco inspection identified tobacco products without any invoices. The investigation determined that the products were not purchased through a licensed distributor.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

Furqan Rashid Sunka, 38, of Austin was indicted for allegedly failing to pay motor vehicle taxes collected on automobiles he sold.

Sunka is charged with failure to remit taxes collected, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine up to $10,000.

In 2017 and 2018, the defendant allegedly sold vehicles but failed to complete the title transfers or pay the taxes, title and registration fees on those sales.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.

June 3

Phillip Martin Garrison, 52, of Argyle was arrested for allegedly failing to pay motor vehicle sales taxes collected to the tax assessor-collector and fees to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles from Motorcars of Dallas.

An investigation revealed that the suspect did not pay the county tax assessor-collector taxes totaling over $6,000 from April 2015 to September 2019.

Garrison is charged with failure to remit taxes collected by a motor vehicle dealer of $1,500 or more but less than $20,000, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

June 1

Harney Sosa Rodriguez, 43, of Dumas was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally obtain 110 gallons of diesel fuel from an Amarillo gas station last fall.

Rodriguez is charged with attempting to evade a tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and with unlawful use of a criminal instrument, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

In November 2020, video surveillance showed the defendant purchasing the fuel using stolen credit card information, according to reports. Officers arrested him and confiscated three counterfeit credit cards in his possession. An investigation determined that his vehicle had been modified and equipped to receive, transport and dispense sizable quantities of fuel from a large auxiliary tank bolted to the truck bed.

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

Alexander Ortiz-Carrazana, 36, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded charge cards to illegally purchase 83 gallons of diesel fuel worth $200 from a Pearland convenience store in 2019.

A Brazoria County district judge sentenced the defendant to two years’ probation and 160 hours of community service and ordered him to pay a $300 fine, plus fees and court costs.

Ortiz-Carrazana admitted to motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. A related charge of fraudulent possession of more than 10 but fewer than 50 items of identifying information, also a second-degree felony, was dismissed in his plea agreement.

The case originated when local police responded to a call from convenience store staff concerning the defendant’s prior fraudulent purchases. Upon arrival, police observed him dispensing fuel into a flatbed pickup truck and confiscated 29 counterfeit cards in his possession.

An inspection of the vehicle revealed an auxiliary fuel tank underneath the truck bed equipped with nozzles, pumps and hoses designed to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

January - March

January 22

Yunior Hernandez Curbelo, 29, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded charge cards to illegally obtain diesel fuel.

A Harris County district judge sentenced him to one day in jail and credited him with three days’ time served, applied toward fees and court costs.

Curbelo admitted to engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. As part of his plea agreement, the charged was reduced to a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

Local police conducted a traffic stop and observed an auxiliary tank bladder in the bed of the defendant’s pickup truck. The tank held approximately 200 gallons of diesel fuel. The vehicle was outfitted to function as motor fuel transporter, evidence showed. Three counterfeit charge cards were confiscated from Curbelo.

January 21

Adrian Diaz, 35, of Dallas pleaded guilty to using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently acquire 100 gallons of diesel fuel.

A Dallas County district judge sentenced him to five years’ probation, fined him $2,000 and ordered him to pay court costs.

Diaz admitted to engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000; transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000; and engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit or license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

An investigation found that the defendant obtained diesel fuel using counterfeit credit card information and delivered it to semi-tractor trucks located at a truck yard in Grand Prairie in July 2020.

January 14

Eric Rioja, 37, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly failing to pay motor vehicle sales taxes and defrauding the Department of Motor Vehicles.

An investigation revealed that the suspect allegedly failed to pay the county tax assessor-collector taxes totaling $20,000 or more but less than $100,000 from April to November 2019.

The suspect allegedly collected vehicle registration and titling fees on behalf of the State of Texas and pocketed the fees, valued at $30,000 or more but less than $150,000.

Rioja is charged with failure to remit taxes collected by a motor vehicle dealer of $20,000 or more but less than $100,000 and misapplication of fiduciary property valued at $30,000 or more but less than $150,000, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Glaubely Vazquez Moreira, 35, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain more than 40 gallons of diesel fuel worth $100.

A Harris County district judge sentenced him to three years’ probation and 120 hours of community service and ordered him to pay fees and court costs.

Moreira admitted to fraudulent use or possession of more than 10 but fewer than 50 items of identifying information, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, as well as engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit or license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

During a joint surveillance operation, investigators observed the defendant making suspicious transactions at two gas stations in North Houston, the first of which was unsuccessful. When Moreira was apprehended after the second attempt, investigators confiscated 12 counterfeit cards from the suspect’s wallet, evidence showed.

Investigators also discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of the defendant’s pickup truck. It was modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel.

January 12

Arlinton Martinez Ferras, 45, of Odessa was indicted for allegedly obtaining untaxed red-dyed diesel fuel.

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

CID investigators and local law enforcement observed the defendant unlawfully acquiring and transporting the dyed diesel fuel. He dispensed the fuel into multiple containers at an undisclosed residence. During a motor fuel tax compliance stop and inspection, investigators located a 275-gallon square tote container with red-dyed diesel fuel. Further inspection found multiple fuel hoses, a fuel nozzle, a fuel pump, a stepladder and a fire extinguisher in the rear compartment of the van.

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 Ector County.

January 7

Alejandro Martinez-Hernandez, 30, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to illegally purchase diesel fuel.

During surveillance, two CID investigators allegedly observed the suspect using fraudulent counterfeit credit and debit card information to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel. During a subsequent traffic stop, they allegedly found him in possession of 27 counterfeit cards.

Martinez-Hernandez is charged with fraudulent possession or use of 10 or more but fewer than 50 items of credit/debit cards, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The Irving Police Department assisted CID in this case, which is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

January 6

Kingsley Ikechi, 32, of Irving pleaded guilty to fraudulent use or possession of more than 50 items of identifying information.

A Dallas County district judge sentenced him to six years’ probation, 320 hours of community service and a $3,000 fine, plus court costs. The offense is a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The case was part of an investigation that led to the Comptroller’s CID filing charges against the defendant.

January 4

Osley Alvarez-Morales, 33, of Dallas was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to illegally obtain 87 gallons of diesel fuel in August 2020.

Alvarez-Morales is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and fraudulent use or possession of more than 10 but fewer than 50 items of identifying information, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

A Comptroller’s CID investigator and local police reportedly discovered the defendant unlawfully obtaining the fuel. He was also in possession of counterfeit cards, allegedly with the intent to harm or defraud. The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Ernesto Rodriguez-Martinez, 37, of Addison was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to illegally obtain approximately 150 gallons of diesel fuel.

Rodriguez-Martinez is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest/shipping documents and fraudulent use or possession of more than 10 but fewer than 50 items of identifying information, all second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

A Comptroller’s CID investigator and local police found the defendant obtaining the diesel fuel. He was also in possession of counterfeit cards with the intent to harm or defraud. The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

January 1

Victor Manuel Sanchez-Zamora, 28, of Irving was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded cards to illegally purchase more than 71 gallons of diesel fuel worth $145 at two fuel stations.

A CID investigator reported that the suspect completed two fraudulent transactions and that 11 counterfeit cards were recovered from him during a subsequent traffic stop. An investigation revealed that the suspect allegedly attempted to evade a tax imposed on motor fuel by failing to pay the backup diesel tax liability.

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

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

Wilfredo Samon Mora, 52, of Port Arthur pleaded guilty to concealing motor fuel in February 2020. An Ector County judge sentenced him to three days in jail and fined him $1,000, plus fees and court costs. He was credited with three days’ time served.

Mora admitted to concealing motor fuel, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

An investigation revealed that the defendant intentionally and knowingly concealed untaxed dyed diesel fuel used on public highways without a permit to receive or store the fuel.

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.

Feb. 26

Yainel Maturell Fernandez, 31, of Houston was indicted 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 last spring. Fernandez is charged 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. Surveillance video reportedly showed the defendant making two transactions on separate dates and dispensing diesel into the main fuel tank and an auxiliary tank located in the bed of a pickup truck. The case is pending prosecution in Madison County.

Feb. 22

Mario Fernandez-Cruz, 28, of Miami Gardens, Fla. pleaded guilty to using re-encoded charge cards to unlawfully obtain 89 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $224 from a Houston convenience store in December 2019.

A Harris County district judge sentenced him to five years’ probation and ordered him to pay court costs.

Fernandez-Cruz admitted to fraudulent possession of 5-10 items of credit card information, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A related charge of engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit or license, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, was dismissed in the plea agreement.

Investigators conducting joint surveillance reportedly observed the defendant engaging in multiple fuel transactions before leaving the premises. They discovered an auxiliary fuel tank concealed in the bed of his pickup truck, which had been modified to receive, transport and dispense fuel.

Feb. 8

Umid Ghulam Abbas, 26, of Fort Worth was arrested for allegedly possessing unstamped cigarettes at his place of his business.

Investigators found the suspect, the store’s owner and operator, in possession of fewer than 10,000 unstamped cigarettes that require affixed state tax stamps.

Abbas is charged with possession of unstamped cigarettes in quantities less than 10,000, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Tarrant County.

Daciel Hang Quesada, 35, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally purchase 48 gallons of diesel fuel worth $97 from a Katy gas station this past December. Quesada is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and purchasing motor fuel with the intent to evade tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, as well as 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. Local authorities reportedly observed the defendant conducting a diesel fuel transaction at a fuel pump. Investigators located a black fuel bladder filled with diesel in the truck bed. The investigation further revealed that the vehicle had been outfitted to function as a motor fuel transport, including auxiliary pumps and nozzles used to receive and dispense fuel without additional equipment. Investigators reported confiscating 25 counterfeit cards from the defendant. The case is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Feb. 3

Asif Ali, 46, of Tyler was arrested for allegedly obtaining a coin-operated amusement license by fraud, operating coin-operated amusement machines without a license and purchasing untaxed tobacco products from an unlicensed distributor and failing to maintain the required records.

Local law enforcement contacted a CID investigator in reference to the amusement machine. During an inspection, the investigator identified “one fish table-type” coin-operated amusement machine with no tax decal that allegedly was owned by the suspect. An investigation determined that he had failed to apply for the 2021 tax year license or registration certificate.

The investigator reviewed the registration certificate application dated Aug. 17, 2020 and noticed two serial numbers. One amusement machine matched one serial number. The suspect claimed to not have had the second machine when the application was completed.

A retail tobacco inspection identified multiple boxes of tobacco products without invoices. The investigator further determined that some of the products were not purchased through a licensed distributor. Ali is charged with operating a coin-operated amusement machine without a license, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both, and with obtaining a coin-operated amusement license by fraud, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with possessing tobacco products with tax due and failure to maintain tax books and records, 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 Morris County.

Feb. 2

Mario Echevarria, 49, of Carrollton was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently purchase 100 gallons of diesel fuel worth $199 from a chain convenience store in Irving last fall.

An investigation revealed that the suspect allegedly attempted to evade a tax imposed on motor fuel by failing to pay the backup diesel tax liability and transported motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents in September 2020.

Local police stopped Echevarria for a suspected traffic violation on February 1. He reportedly provided fictitious information to them, but they confirmed his identity and discovered two active warrants. The suspect attempted to avoid detention in a stolen vehicle but eventually was arrested. During the ensuing traffic stop, officers reportedly confiscated a wallet containing 25 counterfeit cards. Echevarria is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, motor fuel tax evasion and fraudulent possession of more than 10 but fewer than 50 items of credit/debit card information, all second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with theft of property valued at $30,000 or more but less than $150,000 and with evading arrest/detention with a vehicle, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The Irving Police Department participated in the arrest. CID and Irving PD investigated the case, which is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Feb. 1

Erasmo Millan Roldan, 27, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally obtain 47 gallons of diesel fuel worth $100 from a Katy fueling station.

Local police reportedly witnessed the suspect acquiring the fuel and determined that he was not carrying any permits or licenses. His pickup truck was outfitted with a large tank mounted in the bed along with pumps, hoses and nozzles. The vehicle had been modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel. Officers confiscated 22 counterfeit cards encoded with credit card information that did not belong to the suspect.

Roldan 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 Katy Police Department notified CID of the arrest and the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Eric Jones, 37, of Opelousas, La. pleaded guilty to concealing and storing red-dyed diesel fuel for use on the public highways in December 2019. A Chambers County judge ordered him to pay a $500 fine.

Jones admitted to concealing motor fuel, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

State law enforcement officers conducted a traffic stop and inspected the defendant’s pickup truck. An investigator found red-dyed diesel in an auxiliary fuel tank located in the bed of the vehicle.

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.

March 31

Deivi Porrero, 31, of Carrollton was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain 52 gallons of diesel fuel worth $111 from a Dallas chain convenience store in July 2020.

Porrero 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.

Local police covertly observed the defendant dispensing fuel from a pump into a large red auxiliary tank in the back of his flatbed truck. The officers observed him complete the fuel transactions and obtained copies of the sales receipts.

An investigation revealed that he allegedly evaded or attempted to evade a tax imposed on motor fuel by failing to pay the backup diesel tax liability, and transported motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Mario Echevarria, 49, of Carrollton was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently purchase 100 gallons of diesel fuel worth $199 from a chain convenience store in Irving last fall.

Echevarria is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents and fraudulent possession of more than 10 but fewer than 50 items of credit/debit card information. All three 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 theft of property valued at $30,000 or more but less than $150,000 and with evading arrest/detention with a vehicle, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He was found to be in possession of a stolen vehicle and evaded arrest in this stolen vehicle by fleeing pursuing Irving PD officers.

An investigation revealed that he allegedly attempted to evade a tax imposed on motor fuel by failing to pay the backup diesel tax liability and transported motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents.

The cases are pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Victor Manuel Sanchez-Zamora, 28, of Irving was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally purchase more than 71 gallons of diesel fuel worth $145 at two fueling stations in October 2020.

Sanchez-Zamora is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents and fraudulent possession of more than 10 but fewer than 50 items of credit/debit card information. All three offenses are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

A CID investigator reported that the defendant made two fraudulent transactions and that 11 counterfeit cards were recovered from him during a subsequent traffic stop. A specialized card reader confirmed that the cards used to purchase the fuel were counterfeit.

An investigation revealed that Sanchez-Zamora allegedly attempted to evade a tax imposed on motor fuel by failing to pay the backup diesel tax liability. He also is accused of transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents.

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

Carlos Sablon De La Cruz, 31, of Dallas was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded debit/credit cards to fraudulently obtain sizable quantities of diesel fuel worth almost $400 from a convenience store in Irving last summer.

De La Cruz 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.

Initially, the store manager contacted CID about a suspicious purchase, whereupon an investigator alerted local police to detain the defendant at the location. He allegedly was found dispensing fuel into an auxiliary tank located in the back of his vehicle. Nine other attempts to use different cards at the pumps were declined, according to reports.

An investigation revealed that De La Cruz allegedly evaded or attempted to evade a tax imposed on motor fuel by failing to pay the backup diesel tax liability, and that he transported motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents.

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

March 29

Yaser Zaka Chaudhry, 35, of Richmond was indicted for allegedly falsifying a general business license application for coin-operated amusement machines.

Chaudry is charged with tampering with a government record with intent to defraud or harm, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. An investigation revealed that the defendant allegedly tampered with a governmental record by making a false entry on the application. The location of the machines and records listed on the form was found to be a mail drop box.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Oliveros Romero Reynaldo, 32, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded gift cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel at a fueling station in May 2018.

A Harris County district judge sentenced him to five years’ probation and ordered him to pay court costs.

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

Investigators conducting joint surveillance located a white fuel “bladder” concealed inside the defendant’s box truck. The vehicle was outfitted to function as a motor fuel transporter. It had been modified with an auxiliary pump and nozzles connected to the main supply tank so as to receive and dispense motor fuel without additional equipment.

Angel Moya, 58, of Cypress pleaded guilty to using re-encoded charge cards to illegally purchase diesel fuel from a chain supermarket last year in Katy.

A Fort Bend County district judge granted him deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and sentenced him to three years’ probation; a $4,000 fine plus fees and court costs; 200 hours of community service and $200 in restitution, along with a letter of apology to the retailer.

Moya admitted to evading motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

A store employee reportedly witnessed the defendant using counterfeit cards to obtain the fuel. Local police stopped his truck, which was found modified with a tank in the bed that included hoses and nozzles. The vehicle was outfitted to function as a motor fuel transporter.

March 27

Javiel Fernandez, 30, of Dallas was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded cards to illegally purchase 33 gallons of diesel fuel worth $80 from a chain convenience store in Mansfield.

An investigation revealed that the suspect allegedly acquired the fuel using counterfeit charge cards, failed to pay the motor fuel backup tax and transported motor fuel in his vehicle unlawfully on a public roadway. He was found to be in possession of 17 counterfeit credit/debit cards.

Fernandez is charged with fraudulent possession or use of more than 10 but fewer than 50 items of credit/debit card information, transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents and motor fuel tax evasion, all 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 vehicle), a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The Mansfield Police Department assisted CID with the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Tarrant County. The North Richland Hills Police Department arrested the suspect for the outstanding warrants issued during this investigation.

March 26

Candyce Lee “Candy” Chazel, 62, of Odessa and her son, Brett Todd Chazel, 46, of Granbury were charged in an alleged scheme to unlawfully operate two Hood County game rooms using unregistered, unlicensed video slot machines formerly belonging to their deceased husband and stepfather, respectively.

The Chazels reportedly transported the machines, nicknamed “eight-liners,” from game rooms in Odessa and Crane to two game rooms, both named Lola’s, in Granbury and Acton, where investigators allegedly found them in use without valid tax decals.

Ms. Chazel is accused of falsifying two registration renewal applications for the machines in January, both in the name of her late husband who died last August. She faces two charges of attempting to obtain amusement machine certificates by fraud, each of which are second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

She and her son also face two charges each of operating amusement machines without registration certificates or general business licenses. Each offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.

Brett Chazel turned himself in to Hood County authorities on Feb. 23. Ms. Chazel was arrested on the misdemeanor charges March 26 in Odessa and served with felony warrants while still in Ector County Jail on the misdemeanor warrants.

CID assisted the Hood County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation of the cases. The misdemeanors are pending prosecution in Hood County; the felonies in Ector County.

Yunaika Romero-Marquez, 32, and Elwisbel Gomez-Delgado, 33, both of Lexington, were indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally acquire approximately 403 gallons of diesel fuel worth $744 from two Central Texas chain convenience stores in October and November 2020. Romero-Marquez and Gomez-Delgado are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, and with credit/debit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement for six months up to two years in a state jail and a fine up to $10,000.

Investigators reportedly observed the two defendants conducting suspicious transactions with counterfeit cards at two fueling stations in Lee and Williamson counties. They saw the pair transporting and delivering the fuel to multiple locations in Williamson County. During a subsequent search warrant execution at the suspect’s residence, investigators confiscated a total of 24 counterfeit cards, reports show.

The case is pending prosecution in Lee County.

March 23

Guillermo Leal-Machado, 51, of Austin was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally acquire 102 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $298 at a Pflugerville fueling station.

Investigators reportedly observed the suspect making four fuel transactions using a counterfeit card. The investigators and a local police officer stopped his vehicle in order to conduct a motor fuel tax inspection. One of the six counterfeit cards concealed in the vehicle was used in the purchase.

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

The Pflugerville Police Department assisted CID with the traffic stop, and this case is pending prosecution is Travis County.

March 22

Armando Noguera Batista, 27, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded credit cards to illegally acquire diesel fuel from a Katy chain supermarket in January 2020.

A Fort Bend County district judge granted him deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and sentenced him to five years’ probation; 300 hours of community service; a $1,500 fine plus fees and court costs; and $99.62 in restitution along with a letter of apology to the retailer.

Batista admitted to evading motor fuel tax, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Dismissed in the plea agreement was a related charge of fraudulent use or possession of identifying information, a felony punishable by confinement for six months up to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

A store employee reportedly witnessed the defendant purchasing the fuel. Local police identified him and found two counterfeit cards in his possession. Evidence showed that his truck was modified to function as a motor fuel transporter, having been outfitted with a tank mounted in the bed along with a pump, hose and a metered nozzle.

March 17

Alexander Milian, 20, of Katy was indicted for allegedly falsifying records from a chain convenience store in Wharton where he was working during April and May 2020. Milian is charged with making a false entry into records, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The former store employee reportedly was captured on a surveillance camera falsifying approximately 35 sales transaction records in an apparent attempt to conceal thefts and keep the cash register balanced. The transactions were confirmed by his user ID, according to reports. The case is pending prosecution in Wharton County.

March 16

Erasmo Millan Roldan, 27, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally obtain 47 gallons of diesel fuel worth $100 from a Katy fueling station this past February.

Roldan 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 police reportedly witnessed the defendant acquiring the fuel and determined that he was not carrying any permits or licenses to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel. His pickup truck, however, had been outfitted with a large tank mounted in the bed along with pumps, hoses and nozzles.

Officers confiscated 22 counterfeit cards encoded with credit card information that did not belong to Roldan, reports show.

The Katy Police Department notified CID of the arrest and the investigation of the case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County.

March 12

Antonio Miguel Alfonso, 31, of Katy pleaded guilty to using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain at least 40 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $100 from a Katy fueling station in February 2020.

A Harris County district judge granted him deferred adjudication (no final conviction), sentencing him to four years’ probation and ordering him to pay fees and court costs.

Alfonso admitted to fraudulent possession of more than 10 but fewer than 50 items of credit card information, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Dismissed in the plea agreement was a related charge of transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

During a joint surveillance operation, officers observed the defendant conducting multiple transactions and dispensing fuel into an auxiliary tank concealed in the bed of his pickup truck. Investigators confiscated 32 counterfeit cards from the vehicle’s glove compartment.

March 10

Rolando Ramirez Corrada, 46, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards to illegally purchase diesel fuel from a chain convenience store in Baytown.

Corrada 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, as well as fraudulent use of credit/debit card information, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The store’s loss prevention manager contacted CID about 13 suspicious events that had occurred over a five-month period. The defendant was reportedly identified through security camera footage and a driver’s license photo. Local police stopped him at another convenience store in Katy but released him without filing charges.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

March 5

Yasiel Rodriguez, 41, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to unlawfully purchase 47 gallons of diesel fuel from a Katy fueling station in October 2020. Rodriguez 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 police observed the defendant conducting a suspicious transaction at the pump. An inspection revealed that his vehicle had been outfitted to function as a motor fuel transporter, according to reports, having been modified to receive and dispense fuel without additional equipment. A black fuel “bladder” filled with diesel fuel was located in the bed of his pickup truck, along with auxiliary pumps and nozzles.

Officers reportedly confiscated 43 counterfeit cards from the defendant.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

March 1

Jimmy Leyva-Fuentes, 38, of Houston pleaded guilty to unlawfully acquiring diesel fuel from a Pasadena gas station last summer.

A Harris County district judge granted him deferred adjudication (no final conviction), sentencing him to five years’ probation and ordering him to pay $5,000 in restitution plus fees and court costs.

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

Texas Department of Public Safety investigators observed the defendant pumping fuel into a modified pickup truck outfitted with dispensary equipment and an auxiliary fuel tank in the bed. An inspection confirmed that the vehicle was functioning as a motor fuel transporter.

Michel Rivero La Rosa, 36, of Houston pleaded guilty to using re-encoded charge cards to fraudulently obtain 41 gallons of diesel fuel worth $125 from a Katy fueling station in October 2018.

A Fort Bend County district judge sentenced him to a year on probation; 100 hours of community service; a $1,000 fine plus fees and court costs and $125 in restitution to the retailer.

As part of the plea agreement, a related charge of debit/credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement for six months up to two years in a state jail and a fine up to $10,000, was reduced to a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both. Dismissed in the agreement were related charges of an unauthorized, tax-free purchase of motor fuel and intent to evade motor fuel tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Local police observed the defendant pumping fuel into an auxiliary tank of his pickup truck. The vehicle was modified to receive, transport and dispense large quantities of motor fuel. La Rosa admitted having 29 counterfeit charge cards.


Case News Archive 2020-2015