You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Colorado

Friday, February 2, 2018

Ten Individuals Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in Denver and Then Arrested for Diesel Fuel Fraud

DENVER – Following a year and a half investigation conducted by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, a federal grand jury in Denver returned six indictments charging a total of ten individuals with a variety of charges related to the theft and sale of diesel fuel.  During an operation this past Tuesday, January 30th, 2018, all ten defendants were arrested and have subsequently appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge where they were advised of their rights and the charges pending against them.  Three homes and a business premises were searched and 13 gas haul trucks used during the scheme were seized. 

According to the indictment, the defendants, acting as a loose-knit ring of diesel fuel thieves, went to gas stations throughout the Northern Front Range of Colorado, purchasing thousands of gallons of fuel using fraudulent credit cards.  The thieves obtained individuals’ bank account numbers through illicit means, to include skimmers (devices used for secretly capturing bank account numbers and information) and/or from purchases of stolen account numbers on the dark web.   The defendants or others associated with the ring would then take that information and put it on blank credit cards, also known as access devices.  The credit card thieves would then use the fraudulent cards to fill trucks with diesel fuel.  The defendants off-loaded the diesel fuel at storage depots located at various truck lots or businesses within Colorado, in exchange for money from fuel buyers.  The trucks utilized in the scheme to haul and distribute the fuel contained modified and/or supplemental fuel tanks capable of storing approximately 100 gallons or more of diesel fuel at any given time.  In several cases, the fuel tanks were installed on the trucks in a manner designed to conceal the fact that the trucks were being utilized to store and transport substantial volumes of fuel.  

In one case, a defendant controlled and utilized a semi-trailer on the premises of his business --“Salinas Trucking” located in Fort Lupton, Colorado -- which served as a hidden fuel depot where defendants would off-load diesel fuel purchased with clone cards.  Salinas in turn would transfer, or cause to be transferred, such fuel to various large semi-trailer trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles which he used in the course of operating his trucking business.

Those indicted and arrested include: 

Moises Ramirez-Duenas (18-cr-00047)

Eddie Luis Tamayo Pena (18-cr-00025)

Lisvan Leiva Perez (18-cr-00046)

Javier Vergara Rodriquez (18-cr-00026)

Yordanis Tamayo Aguilar (18-cr-00041)

Yunior Ricardo Gutierrez Bermudez

Sergio Reynier Ona Lago

Fidel Salinas*

Yordanis Batista Pacho (18-cr-00045)

Ricardo Sarmiento Pacho

Fidel Salinas*

            *Defendant Fidel Salinas named in two separate indictments

Charges include Bank Fraud, Fraudulent Use of Counterfeit Devices or Conspiracy to Fraudulently Use Counterfeit Devices, and Aggravated Identity Theft.  Penalties for the ten defendants range from not more than 10 years, to not more than 30 years in federal prison.

This case was investigated by the FBI Denver Division, with assistance from Immigration Customs Enforcement - Enforcement and Removal Operations; Brighton Police Department and Colorado State Patrol.

The defendants are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Neff.

The charges contained in the indictments are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated February 2, 2018