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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Defendant Sentenced To 6 Months For Oil Theft

United States Attorney Kenyen R. Brown of the Southern District of Alabama announces today that Mark Wayne Bush, 51, of Gilbertown, Alabama, was sentenced today to 6 months of imprisonment by Senior U.S. District Judge Callie V. S. Granade for conspiring to transport stolen oil from Clarke County, Alabama to Mississippi.  The judge ordered that Bush undergo 3 years of supervised release upon completing his term of imprisonment, pay $198,270 in restitution to Pruet Oil Company, undergo credit restrictions, and pay a $100 mandatory special assessment.

Bush and co-defendants Oliver Leggett Jr. and Earnest Ronald Hays were indicted by a federal grand jury in December 2015 for their scheme to steal oil from oil fields in Clarke County, transport the oil to Heidelberg, Mississippi, and sell it to third parties, all for personal financial gain.  From before 2006 to 2015, Bush was an oil pumper working as a contractor for Pruet Oil, a company with oil fields in Clarke County.   During the conspiracy, Leggett was a truck driver responsible for transporting sludge and waste oil, and Hays headed Hays Petroleum, an oil company in Heidelberg, Mississippi.  Bush, Leggett, and Hays stole crude oil from Pruet Oil.  Bush and Leggett communicated about the best times to steal crude oil, which tanks to use to take the oil, and how many barrels to load out of each tank.  Relying on Bush’s information, Leggett went to Pruet Oil at various times, loaded stolen crude oil into his truck, and transported it to Hays, who paid Leggett for delivered stolen oil.  Leggett, in turn, paid Bush a portion of the stolen oil proceeds. 

On May 19, 2016, Bush pled guilty to one count of conspiring to transport stolen oil in interstate commerce.  Leggett and Hays have also pled guilty to the conspiracy.  Leggett’s sentencing date is August 22, 2016.  Hays’s sentencing date is December 1, 2016.                  

 The case was investigated by the Clarke County Sheriff’s Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sinan Kalayoglu and Gregory Bordenkircher.

Updated August 19, 2016