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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.

July 2021

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.

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