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

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


October 2022

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.