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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.

August 2018

Aug. 30

Warren Raymond Nugent, 58, a Dallas concrete contractor, was indicted for allegedly obtaining and using dyed diesel fuel in a company-owned vehicle unlawfully in November 2017 and failing to pay taxes due.

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

Frisco police discovered dyed diesel in his truck’s “sidesaddle” tanks during a traffic stop. They also found documentation of purchases from two oil companies made under a signed statement that the vehicle would not operate on public roadways.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Collin County.

Aug. 29

Adrian Yordanys Pita, 33, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court to motor fuel tax evasion, receiving deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and three years’ probation. He also must perform 180 hours of community service.

The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Yordanys Pita admitted using "cloned" credit cards to unlawfully obtain approximately 101 gallons of diesel fuel pumped into a vehicle outside a Houston-area store in February.

In a prior misdemeanor case in Fort Bend County, he previously was sentenced to 330 days in jail for pleading guilty to using a specially modified cargo van to steal diesel fuel. A separate motor fuel tax evasion case involving unlawfully obtained diesel fuel was dismissed in that plea agreement.

Juan Carlos Salazar Pelegrin, 45, of Houston was arrested in Katy for allegedly transporting approximately 100 gallons of diesel fuel without proper documentation.

Upon stopping his pickup truck for an apparent traffic violation, Katy police reportedly discovered a concealed auxiliary storage tank in the truck bed. Although claiming the fuel inside had been acquired at the direction of his work supervisor, the suspect allegedly could produce no paperwork authorizing its possession. He subsequently declined an interview with a CID investigator.

Pelegrin is charged with transporting motor fuel without a cargo manifest or shipping document, a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 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 Fort Bend County.

Aug. 28

Sadier Aldazabal-Castillo, 33, of Houston pleaded guilty in a Harris County district court to engaging in a motor fuel transaction without a permit and was sentenced to three years’ probation, fined $750 and ordered to perform 150 hours of community service.

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

In April, the defendant used re-encoded gift cards to unlawfully pump diesel fuel into a “bladder” concealed in the bed of his vehicle. It had been modified to function as a fuel transporter and dispenser, according to reports. Several re-encoded gift cards were confiscated, including the one used in the crime.

Aug. 24

Shateka Modries Johnson Nixon, 30, of Houston was indicted for allegedly cashing a phony $500 Hurricane Harvey relief check at a Houston supermarket in September 2017.

The check purportedly had been issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

She is charged with forgery of a government instrument, 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.

Aug. 16

Danny Lee Allen, 61, and his son, Jonathan Daniel Allen, 37, both of Cleburne, pleaded guilty in a Johnson County district court to motor fuel tax evasion and received deferred adjudication (no final conviction). They each were placed on five years’ probation, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay court costs and perform 240 hours of community service.

The pair admitted to purchasing fuel intending to evade taxes, a second-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. In the plea agreement, similar charges of tax evasion were dismissed along with unlicensed motor fuel transaction charges, a third-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

In late 2016, the Allens used a company credit card belonging to Jonathan Allen’s employer to make several unlawful purchases of dyed diesel for their tractor trucks. Non-taxable diesel fuel is dyed red and authorized almost exclusively for off-road or agricultural use by permit-holders.

Manuel Civil, 51, of Tyler was indicted on six counts of falsifying sales price information on vehicle title applications submitted to the Smith County Tax-Assessor Collector’s Office from November 2016 through June 2017.

He is charged with motor vehicle registration forgery, a third-degree felony punishable by imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The case is pending prosecution in Smith County.

Aug. 9

Noriel Del Valle Perez, 36, of Katy was arrested for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain approximately 169 gallons of diesel fuel worth almost $300 from a Katy truck stop.

A store manager alerted Katy police upon observing the suspect using multiple cards to activate a fuel pump. The fuel was pumped into concealed “saddle” compartments flanking the bed of a large flatbed truck modified to receive, transport and dispense motor fuel, according to reports.

For failing to pay the required backup tax, Perez 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. Local authorities also are pursuing felony credit card abuse charges related to the unlawful purchases made with three of the 11 “cloned” cards confiscated from the suspect.

CID assisted the Katy Police Department with the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Fort Bend County.

Aug. 7

Cristian Javier Rivas-Alvarenga, 28, of Houston was arrested for using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain motor fuel from a Katy convenience store.

For failing to pay the required backup tax, Rivas-Alvarenga 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 Harris County.

Aug. 3

Dakota Dixon, 26, of New Home was arrested in Ector County on an outstanding warrant for allegedly operating on a public roadway a pickup truck unlawfully containing approximately 67 gallons of non-taxable diesel fuel in December 2017.

Having allegedly failed to pay the required backup tax, a Lynn County grand jury indicted him in April for motor fuel tax evasion. The second-degree felony is punishable by imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Bond was set at $75,000.

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

The case is pending prosecution in Lynn County.

Aug. 2

Antonio LeDaryl Kirkland, 29, of Big Spring pleaded guilty in a Howard County district court to selling a car for which he did not hold lawful title in 2017.

Kirkland received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and was placed on four years’ probation. He was fined $2,500 and ordered to pay court costs and attorney’s fees, as well as perform 300 hours of community service.

He admitted to fraudulently transferring a title to a motor vehicle valued at less than $30,000 and to theft of property worth more than $2,500 but less than $30,000. Both offenses are felonies punishable by confinement in a state jail for six months up to two years.

In May 2017, Kirkland sold a 2009 BMW for $10,000, promising to provide the buyer with the title despite having an unsatisfied lien. A third-party lender still held the title as collateral against Kirkland’s outstanding loan, which he was not paying off.

Brandon James Gressett, 31, of Seminole was arrested for allegedly obtaining dyed diesel fuel unlawfully from his employer, a local construction machine rental service, and offloading it into a storage tank at a residence.

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. He was released on $50,000 bond.

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

CID assisted the Gaines County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Gaines County.

Aug. 1

Rafael Montoya Quesada, 41, of Universal City was arrested for using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain 51 gallons of diesel fuel from a discount store gas station and pump it into an auxiliary tank in the bed of a pickup truck in May.

The suspect and a passenger subsequently were observed attempting unsuccessfully to use “cloned” cards to obtain more diesel fuel at another service station, according to reports.

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

CID assisted the Universal City Police Department in the investigation. The case is pending prosecution in Bexar County.

Jose Luis Bell-Morales, 27, of Homestead, Fla. was indicted for allegedly using a re-encoded credit card to unlawfully obtain more than 102 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $265 from a truck stop in Luling in late January.

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 Caldwell County.


July 2018

July 22

Luis Ochoa-Cabrera, 56, of Seguin was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded charge cards on five occasions in the summer of 2016 to unlawfully obtain more than $985 worth of diesel fuel from a convenience store in Seguin.

For failing to pay the backup taxes, he is charged with five counts of motor fuel tax evasion. Each 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 Guadalupe County.

July 20

Charles Scott Seale, 46, of Abilene pleaded guilty in a Taylor County district court to tax evasion, received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and was sentenced to four years’ probation, fined $3,000 and ordered to pay more than $1,650 in restitution and perform 160 hours of community service.

Seale falsified tax records in 2016 and 2017 related to the bar he owns and operates. He understated the actual amounts of gross receipts sales taxes due on three mixed beverage sales tax reports.

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

July 18

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

For failing to pay the backup tax, 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 abuse case.

July 17

Ramon Diaz Oduardo, 54, of Opa-Locka, Fla., was indicted for allegedly using re-encoded credit cards in late June to unlawfully obtain fuel from a Houston gas station.

After observing the suspect swiping multiple cards at a pump before departing, Houston police pulled over his pickup truck and reportedly found 22 “cloned” charge cards. An auxiliary tank had been welded beneath the bed of the truck, which investigators say was modified to receive, transport and dispense fuel.

Oduardo 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.

The case is pending prosecution in Harris County.

July 10

Mohammed Talha Padela, 36, of Sugar Land was indicted for tobacco tax evasion for allegedly possessing hundreds of packages of tobacco products on which more than $12,000 in taxes were unpaid.

The suspect allegedly tried to sell the snuff to a Houston distributor who alerted the Comptroller’s office. CID conducted surveillance and discovered the tobacco products in the suspect’s vehicle during a subsequent traffic stop.

The offense of possessing tobacco products with tax due of more than $50 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 Harris County.

July 2

Lazaro Suarez, 26, of Houston was indicted for using re-encoded credit cards to unlawfully obtain motor fuel from a Houston convenience store in January.

Houston police stopped the suspect’s pickup truck after he allegedly was observed filling an auxiliary storage tank concealed in the truck bed. An inspection revealed that the truck had been modified with pumps and nozzles to transport fuel, according to reports.

Because he allegedly had no permit, Suarez is charged with engaging in a motor fuel transaction as an unlicensed transporter. 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 Harris County.


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

CID investigators claim that the suspect cut out information and used correction fluid to make unauthorized changes. They discovered the altered documents during a May tax inspection of Boney Auto Sales in El Paso.

Jimenez is charged with fraudulent tampering with a governmental record, 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 El Paso County.


Albert Martinez Barrera, 45, of Snyder pleaded guilty in Sterling County district court to motor fuels tax evasion and transporting motor fuel without  shipping documents. He received deferred adjudication (no final conviction) and was sentenced to four years’ probation and a $1,500 fine plus court costs.

Both offenses are second-degree felonies, each punishable by two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Barrera admitted to unlawfully obtaining 700 gallons of diesel fuel in April 2017 from a motor fuel transportation company where he worked as a delivery truck driver. He withheld some diesel fuel from delivery loads, a practice called “short loading,” and sold it to third parties off site.

Barrera already is on probation for pleading guilty to similar crimes in Scurry County.  The Sterling County case preceded his being placed on probation in the other jurisdiction. 


Reynier Dominguez Alvarez, 30, of Katy pleaded guilty to motor fuels tax evasion and was sentenced to two years in prison, with credit for 197 days’ jail time served.

Alvarez admitted to fraudulently purchasing diesel fuel at a Katy truck stop in October 2017 without paying tax.

The offense is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.  A related case, fraudulent use and/or possession of identifying information, was dismissed in the plea agreement.


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