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

March 2018


March 29

Randall Lee McNeil Jr., 25, of Raleigh, Miss. pleaded no contest in a Midland County court-at-law and was fined $750 for concealing 81 gallons of red dyed diesel (RDD) in his pickup truck’s main supply and auxiliary tanks in January.

McNeil claimed to have bought the RDD in Mississippi en route to an oil rig in Midland County. In Texas, non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

Obtaining, holding for use and/or using fuel unlawfully is a violation of motor fuel tax law requirements. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.


March 27

Jose Alberto Morgado Nunez, 47, of Austin was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment, probated for 8 years; a $2,000 fine; $51 restitution and 320 hours of community service for unlawfully acquiring more than 100 gallons of diesel fuel worth $250 using re-encoded gift cards that he attempted to destroy and dispose of when stopped. He also was sentenced concurrently to two years in state jail, probated for five years, for misusing the cards.

In February, Nunez pleaded guilty in a Travis County district court to evading motor fuel tax and transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; tampering with physical evidence, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; and credit/debit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

Two other pending charges were dismissed in the plea agreement.


March 26

Thu Linh Le, 34, of Odessa pleaded guilty in an Ector County district court to fraudulently obtaining a coin-operated machine license and was sentenced to four years’ probation, a $500 fine and 240 hours of community service.

Le recruited an individual to falsify and submit an application to the Comptroller’s Office for a coin-operated machine general business license by substituting her name and Social Security number in place of Le’s, thereby misrepresenting herself as the owner of a game room actually owned by Le.

Obtaining a coin-operated machine license by fraud is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.


March 15

Pedro B. Vasquez Jr., 38, of Fort Stockton pleaded no contest in a Midland County court-at-law and was fined $750 for concealing approximately 33 gallons of red dyed diesel (RDD) fuel in the main and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck.

Concealing motor fuel is a violation of motor fuel tax law requirements. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

Vasquez allegedly obtained the RDD unlawfully from an oil rig fuel storage tank.


March 7

Ernesto Jesus Izaguirre-Rodriguez, 26, of Austin was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 74 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $200 from a Pflugerville convenience store.

Undercover CID officers observed the suspect pumping diesel fuel into the side fuel door of a pickup truck fitted with a bed cover. Investigators discovered a large diesel fuel tank concealed under the cover in the truck bed and equipped with a reverse system to pump the fuel into the concealed tank without removing the cover. A subsequent search during the arrest yielded several “cloned” credit and debit cards.

Izaguirre-Rodriguez is charged with evading motor fuel tax by not having paid the backup tax for the purpose of reselling the stolen diesel fuel. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.


Yurian Julio Ramirez, 27, of Miami, Fla. was indicted for operating a vehicle modified to transport large amounts of stolen diesel fuel without a license.

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

Ramirez was stopped in November by a Katy police officer on suspicion of credit card abuse.

CID assisted in the investigation of the fuel case, which is pending prosecution in Harris County


Alexei Diaz Gonzalez, 42, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel from a Katy convenience store in November.

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

Katy police observed the suspect purchasing fuel with “cloned” cards and notified CID for assistance in the investigation. Gonzalez also is charged with credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

Both cases are pending prosecution in Harris County.


February 2018


Feb. 28

Robert Wayne Reaves, 49, of Wills Point was indicted in January for allegedly scheming to resell untaxed pipe tobacco purchased online from out of state without paying substantial amounts of Texas tobacco tax.

Investigators reported finding more than 1,600 ounces of illicit tobacco at Reaves' tobacco shop in Terrell in late September. He is charged with possessing tobacco products on which more than $50 in taxes are due, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Kaufman County.


Feb. 26

Osvaldo Efren Dominguez Torres, 28, of Georgetown was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to unlawfully pump more than 56 gallons of diesel fuel worth approximately $150 into an auxiliary tank concealed under a cover in the bed of his pickup truck at a convenience store near Liberty Hill.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, and credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

The case is pending prosecution in Williamson County.


Feb. 24

Adrian Yordanys-Pita, 32, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain approximately 101 gallons of diesel fuel pumped into a vehicle outside a Houston-area store.

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

In November, Yordanys-Pita pleaded guilty in a Fort Bend County district court to using a specially modified cargo van to steal diesel fuel and was sentenced to 330 days in jail. He was convicted of unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the van modified to store stolen fuel), a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

In the plea bargain, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a separate motor fuel tax evasion case alleging that Yordanys-Pita transported and intended to sell approximately 300 gallons of illegally obtained diesel fuel and failed to pay the backup tax. That offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

CID assisted the Houston Police Department in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.


Feb. 23

Duane M. Lopez, 39, of Stanton was arrested for allegedly stealing dyed diesel fuel on multiple occasions from a farm storage tank and delivering it into the internal supply tank of his pickup truck, which he then drove on a state highway.

He is charged with delivering dyed diesel fuel into a motor vehicle for use on a public highway, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

CID assisted the Martin County Sheriff's Office in the on-going fuel theft investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Martin County.


Feb. 22

Danny Lee Allen, 61, and his son, Jonathan Daniel Allen, 36, both of Cleburne, were indicted for allegedly buying dyed diesel fuel unlawfully and using it in their personal tractor-trailer rigs to haul aggregate for a Denton company.

The fuel allegedly was obtained on multiple occasions from late November through December 2016 at an unattended fuel station owned by a Cleburne oil and gas wholesaler. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

The Allens each are charged with motor fuel tax evasion and purchasing motor fuel with intent to evade taxes, both second-degree felonies punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000; and with engaging in a motor fuel transaction without the requisite permit, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Johnson County.


Feb. 15

Ranvir Singh, 46, of Corinth was arrested for allegedly possessing more than 6,300 ounces of loose tobacco on which several thousand dollars in taxes had not been paid.

Singh is charged with possessing tobacco on which more than $50 in taxes are owed, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Evidence shows that the tobacco apparently had been purchased from an out-of-state distributor for resale at Singh's tobacco and gift shop in Lake Dallas.

He also is charged with storing 15 coin-operated amusement machines on the premises without a license or registration certificate, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Denton County.


Feb. 14

Jose Andres Aguilera-Rojas, 62, of Austin was indicted for unlawfully obtaining approximately 150 gallons of diesel fuel in March 2017 without paying tax.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Comal County.


Feb. 1

Israel Lara, 34, of Pecos pleaded guilty in a Reeves County district court to violating motor fuel tax requirements by unlawfully obtaining and concealing dyed diesel fuel in an auxiliary tank in the bed of his pickup truck last May and by storing it illegally in a drum and various equipment on his property.

Lara was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment probated for six years, a $1,500 fine, $180 in restitution and 250 hours of community service. He was credited with 228 days' jail time served. He had been charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.


Monir Saeb Kutob, 30, of Troup pleaded guilty last August in a Rusk County district court to unlawful operation of amusement machines at a business in Selman City and was fined $1,500 plus court costs.

Kutob had been charged with operating amusement machines without a license or registration certificate, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.


January 2018


Jan. 31, 2018

Alexander Tamayo-Cabrera, 30, of Austin was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded gift card to unlawfully obtain approximately 105 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $264 from a North Austin convenience store last September and concealing it in an auxiliary tank hidden in the bed of his pickup truck.

Tamayo Cabrera is charged with transporting motor fuel without a shipping document and evading motor fuel tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; and with tampering with physical evidence, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

He also was indicted for evading arrest in a motor vehicle and assaulting a public servant, both third-degree felonies punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The defendant reportedly sped away when confronted by a Comptroller investigator who was thrown to the ground after stepping on the truck’s running board to avoid being pinned between the fleeing vehicle and a fuel pump. Tamayo-Cabrera also allegedly threw “cloned” cards out the driver’s side window.

Austin Police Department (APD) officers assisted CID in apprehending the suspect. The APD investigated the cases of assault on a peace officer and evading arrest in a motor vehicle; CID investigated the cases of motor fuel tax fraud and evidence tampering. All the cases are pending prosecution in Travis County.


Jan. 30, 2018

Adrian Yordanys-Pita , 32, of Houston pleaded guilty in November in a Fort Bend County district court to using a specially modified cargo van to steal diesel fuel and was sentenced to 330 days in jail.

He was convicted of unlawful use of a criminal instrument (i.e., the van modified to store stolen fuel), a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

In the plea bargain, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a separate motor fuel tax evasion case alleging that Yordanys-Pita transported and intended to sell approximately 300 gallons of illegally obtained diesel fuel and failed to pay the backup tax. That offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.


Yuri Columbie, 34, of Houston pleaded guilty in October in a Harris County district court to using a credit card without authorization to unlawfully obtain 105 gallons of diesel fuel last April. He was sentenced to four years’ probation and ordered to pay $700 restitution plus court and other related costs.

Columbie received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) for credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years. A separate charge of motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000, was dismissed in the plea bargain.


Jan. 25, 2018

Warren Raymond Nugent, 58, a Dallas concrete contractor, was arrested for allegedly obtaining and using dyed diesel fuel in a company-owned vehicle unlawfully and failing to pay taxes due.

Frisco police stopped Nugent’s truck in November for equipment violations and impounded it. Officers found red dyed diesel (RDD) in the “sidesaddle” motor fuel supply tanks. Subsequent investigation revealed RDD purchases from two fuel companies under a signed statement on file that the fuel would not be used to operate motor vehicles on public roadways. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

Nugent is charged with motor fuel tax evasion and purchasing motor fuel with intent to evade tax, both second-degree felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. He also is charged with using dyed diesel fuel on a public roadway despite having submitted a signed statement to the contrary, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The CID assisted the Frisco Police Department in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Collin County.


Raul Sanchez, 33, of Rowlett and Alonso Arzola-Gomez, 30, of Hobbs, N.M. were arrested for allegedly obtaining, holding for use and using red dyed diesel (RDD) fuel unlawfully.

Sanchez is accused of hiding approximately 44 gallons of RDD in the main supply and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck. The fuel allegedly came from a tank at his employer’s pipeline construction company yard in Big Spring.

Arzola-Gomez is accused of hiding a total of more than 70 gallons of RDD in the main supply and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck the day before his arrest.

Each suspect is charged with concealing motor fuel, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

Both cases are pending prosecution in Martin County.


Jan. 24, 2018

Pedro B. Vasquez Jr., 38, of Fort Stockton; Terry Allen Watkins, 31, of Panama, Okla.; Stephen Olen Heflin, 40, of Talihina, Okla. and Randall Lee McNeil, 24, of Raleigh, Miss. were arrested for allegedly obtaining, holding for use and using red dyed diesel (RDD) fuel unlawfully.

Vasquez is accused of taking an unspecified amount of RDD from an oil rig fuel storage tank in Midland County and hiding approximately 33 gallons in the main and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck. Watkins is accused of hiding approximately 10 gallons in the main and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck operated near Midland.

Heflin allegedly had someone else put approximately 64 gallons of RDD in the main supply and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck the day before his arrest in Midland County. McNeil claimed to have bought the 81 gallons found in his pickup truck’s main supply and auxiliary tanks in Mississippi en route to an oil rig in Midland County.

Each suspect is charged with concealing motor fuel, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

All four cases are pending prosecution in Midland County.


Rubber Guerra Rios, 31, of Austin was indicted for allegedly using a cloned credit card to unlawfully obtain 98 gallons of diesel fuel worth $212 from an Austin gas station and putting it into the auxiliary tank of a pickup truck in June of 2017.

He is charged with transporting motor fuel without proper documentation and motor fuel tax evasion. Each offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Travis County.


Jan. 23, 2018

Kenny Wayne Holcombe, 32, of Gonzales and Robert Perez-Ramirez, 37, of Palestine were arrested for allegedly obtaining, holding for use and using red dyed diesel (RDD) fuel unlawfully.

Holcombe is accused of hiding approximately 115 gallons in the main supply and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck. The RDD allegedly was taken from an oil rig fuel supply in Howard County.

Perez-Ramirez is accused of hiding approximately 55 gallons of RDD in the main supply and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck being operated in North Howard County.

Each suspect is charged with concealing motor fuel, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

Both cases are pending prosecution in Howard County.


Jan. 18, 2018

Yulier Tamayo-Benitez, 34, of Austin, pleaded guilty in a Williamson County district court to using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully acquire 177 gallons of diesel fuel worth $400 last March and dispensing it into an auxiliary tank in his pickup truck.

He received four years’ deferred adjudication (no final conviction), 96 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine for credit card abuse, a felony punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

A related motor fuel tax evasion case alleging transportation of fuel without proper documentation was dismissed in the plea bargain. That offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.


Angel Machado Sotolongo, 25, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using an unlawfully obtained credit card to buy diesel fuel at a Baytown truck stop in September without paying backup tax.

He is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. He also faces a credit card abuse charge in connection with the incident.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Case News Archive »

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