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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.

May 2018

May 31

Fredricke Deon Espy Jr., 26, of Amarillo was arrested by CID officers for allegedly possessing and selling cigars and other tobacco products without a state permit.

During a compliance inspection last December, investigators seized the unlawful merchandise at Sir’s Smoke Shop in Amarillo. A judge issued arrest warrants May 9.

The three pending charges – receipt and possession, sales, not possessing or posting a permit – are Class A misdemeanors. Each offense is punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

The case is pending prosecution in Potter County.

May 29

Louis McClinton, 37, of Cedar Hill was arrested for allegedly falsifying vehicle titles in 2016.

McClinton, owner of Mach 1 Motors in Lancaster, is accused of altering trade-in values on a vehicle title application in order to reduce or eliminate his state motor vehicle sales tax liability.

He is charged with a total of nine counts of providing false title information and forgery. Each offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Carlos Albert Viera-Rodriguez, 34, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using stolen, re-encoded credit and debit cards in April 2017 to unlawfully obtain more than 330 gallons of diesel fuel from a Caldwell convenience store and pumping it into the fuel “saddle tanks” of semi-tractor truck to avoid paying backup tax.

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

CID assisted the Caldwell Police Department in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Burleson County.

Jorge Luis Rignak Pena, 24, of Katy was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card in April to obtain almost 58 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 from a truck stop in Katy by pumping it into an auxiliary fuel “bladder” of a pickup truck.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

May 22

Maikel Orlans Abad Suarez, 38, of Pasadena was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card in April to unlawfully obtain more than 31 gallons of diesel fuel worth $85 from a Pasadena service station by pumping it into an auxiliary “bladder” concealed inside his sport-utility vehicle.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Sadier Aldazabal-Castillo, 33, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to unlawfully pump diesel fuel into a “bladder” concealed in the bed of a vehicle modified to function as a fuel transporter.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Ariel Paumier Reyes, 37, and Oliveros Romero Reynaldo (aka Reynaldo Oliveros-Romero),29, both of Houston, were indicted for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards at a Houston gas station to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel.

They were arrested May 10 on suspicion of using a box truck modified to store and dispense fuel using a concealed “bladder” and an auxiliary pump and nozzles connected to the main supply tank.

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

The cases are pending prosecution in Harris County.

Adrian Yordanys Pita, 33, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain approximately 101 gallons of diesel fuel pumped into a vehicle outside a Houston-area service station in February.

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

Last November, Yordanys Pita pleaded guilty in a Fort Bend County district court and was sentenced to 330 days in jail for using a specially modified cargo van to steal diesel fuel. A separate motor fuel tax evasion case was dismissed in the plea agreement.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

Mark Anthony Juarez Jr., 35, of Houston was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain and transport large quantities of diesel fuel from service stations in north and northwest Houston.

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

Officers reportedly confiscated 10 “cloned” cards and a firearm from the defendant’s vehicle. One of the cards’ owners had recognized the suspect and followed him from one station to another until police arrived.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

May 20

Rafael Luis Quintero, 22, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using one of 76 re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain diesel fuel pumped into a tank concealed in his van.

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

The fuel tax fraud case is pending prosecution in Harris County. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is handling the credit card fraud case.

May 9

Ronda Gay Smith, 50, of Seagoville was arrested for allegedly selling untaxed tobacco at her store in Seagoville.

During an inspection of the Pink Pig Smoke Shop, CID investigators seized pipe tobacco that invoices showed was purchased from out-of-state sources. Texas state tax well in excess of $50 had not been paid, according to reports.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Dallas County.

Juan Arturo Cruz Leyva, 44, of Tampa, Fla. pleaded guilty in an Ector County district court to transporting motor fuel without proper documentation in 2016.

He was sentenced to four years’ deferred adjudication (no final conviction), 240 hours of community service and a $2,000 fine plus fees and court costs for. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

A separate charge accusing him of engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for five to 99 years or life and a fine of up to $10,000, was dropped.

Leyva and three accomplices allegedly used re-encoded gift cards to obtain and conceal diesel fuel in auxiliary tanks of their pickup trucks for sale to truckers.

May 3

Elder Boney Ramirez Jimenez, 45, an El Paso car dealer, was arrested for allegedly falsifying temporary dealer tags in order to conduct business because his state license had expired.

CID investigators discovered the altered documents during a tax inspection of Boney Auto Sales in El Paso on May 1.

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

The case is pending prosecution in El Paso County.

May 2

Alexei Diaz Gonzalez, 42, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court to concealing motor fuel and was sentenced to 240 days in jail.

The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both. Prosecutors reduced the original charge of motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Katy police arrested Gonzalez last November and accused him of using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 24 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $60.

May 1

Dilip Bansilal Mahta, 54, of Rockwall pleaded guilty in a Hunt County district court to possessing tobacco on which less than $50 in taxes were due.

He was granted deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and sentenced to two years’ probation, 100 hours of community service and a $2,500 fine, plus restitution and court costs.

Mahta allegedly sold illicit pipe tobacco at his Quinlan convenience store last September for slightly more than the amount of the applicable but unpaid state tax.

Prosecutors reduced the original charge of possessing tobacco products on which more than $50 in taxes are due, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. In his plea agreement, Mahta admitted to a lesser included offense, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

April 2018

April 27

Mark Anthony Juarez Jr., 35, of Houston was arrested after a brief chase for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain and transport large quantities of diesel fuel from service stations in north and northwest Houston.

The owner of the credit card used in the crime recognized the suspect from a surveillance photograph and followed him from one of the stations until police arrived, according to reports. Officers confiscated 10 “cloned” cards and a firearm from the suspect’s vehicle.

Juarez is charged with transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The Houston Police Department (HPD) has brought additional felony charges against Juarez.

CID assisted HPD in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

April 11

Randall Lawrence Callan, 59, of Roby pleaded guilty in a Howard County district court to motor fuel tax evasion and was sentenced to four years’ deferred adjudication (no final conviction), 300 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine, plus fees and court costs.

He admitted to buying misappropriated diesel fuel from a co-defendant, a fuel delivery truck driver who sold part of a bulk load of diesel fuel destined for a fuel station. The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

April 10

Maikel Orlans Abad Suarez, 38, of Pasadena was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 31 gallons of diesel fuel worth $85 from a Pasadena service station and pumped into an auxiliary bladder concealed inside his sport utility vehicle.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County. A related case filed by the Pasadena Police Department alleging credit card abuse also is pending.

April 9

Santos Del Pozo Rodriguez, 55, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Burleson County district court to attempting to transport motor fuel without shipping documents in April 2017. He was sentenced to four years’ deferred adjudication (no final conviction), fined $1,500 and assessed court costs.

The offense is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine because it is one category lower than the attempted offense. The original charge of transporting motor fuel without a valid shipping document is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. In the plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed a related charge of motor fuel tax evasion, also a second-degree felony.

Rodriguez and a co-defendant were arrested last spring for allegedly using one of eight “cloned” credit and debit cards to obtain almost 42 gallons of diesel fuel worth $100 from a Caldwell convenience store. Evidence showed that the suspects’ pickup truck contained a 300-gallon auxiliary tank in its bed concealed by wooden panels and a tire.

April 6

Armando Carmona, 54, of Harlingen was arrested for allegedly having approximately 900 gallons of dyed diesel fuel in the supply and auxiliary tanks of his pickup truck unlawfully in November.

He is charged with transporting motor fuel without shipping documents, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

The case is pending prosecution in Cameron County.

April 5

Jorge Luis Rignak Pena, 24, of Katy was arrested for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to obtain almost 58 gallons of diesel fuel worth $150 from a truck stop in Katy.

A store employee observed the suspect pumping diesel fuel directly into an auxiliary bladder concealed in the bed of a pickup truck.

Pena is charged with motor fuel tax evasion, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. A related credit card abuse case filed by the Katy Police Department (KPD) also is pending.

CID assisted the KPD in the tax evasion investigation. Both cases are pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

April 4

Edwin King Quan, 54, of Terrell pleaded guilty in a Kaufman County court-at-law to possessing a coin-operated machine without a license.

He was sentenced to nine months’ deferred adjudication (no final conviction), a $1,500 fine and 20 hours of community service.

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

April 2

Marcus Eugene ONeal, 43, of Madisonville was indicted for allegedly acquiring dyed diesel fuel and then using it in a truck tractor’s “saddle tanks” while operating on a state highway in May 2017.

He is charged with furnishing a fuel supplier a signed statement (dyed diesel permit) issued for his construction business and using the fuel in a vehicle unlawfully. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized exclusively for off-road and/or agricultural use by permit-holders.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Madison County.

April 1

Sadier Aldazabal-Castillo, 33, of Houston was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded gift cards to unlawfully pump diesel fuel into a bladder concealed in the bed of his vehicle.

The vehicle was modified to function as a fuel transporter and dispenser, according to reports. Several re-encoded gift cards were confiscated, including the one allegedly used in the crime.

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

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

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.

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