3 Arrested in North Florida Diesel Fuel Racketeering Scheme
Luis Sandy Alonso, Osniel Valdez and Alexander Infante are in jail charged with several counts of racketeering after a five month investigation by the U.S. Secret Service Jacksonville Office took down a group of gas pump manipulators in Northern Florida.
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The investigation into gas pump manipulators by Orlando’s News 6 sparked the investigation which ended in a joint operation with the U.S. Secret Service, Florida Highway Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Florida Department of Agriculture, Orlando Police, and Orange and Osceola County sheriff’s offices, and the arrest of the ring.
USSS investigators said the suspects would travel to north Florida to commit the fuel theft, then they would transport the fuel and bring them to different fuel depots in the Jacksonville/North Florida area. From there, the fuel would be resold to independent truckers or LLCs, or the thieves would load the stolen diesel fuel into trailers and bring it back to Central Florida.
An investigation into gas pump manipulators by News 6 and the Orlando U.S. Secret Service office has sparked an aggressive legal salvo by state prosecutors leading to the arrest of three Central Florida men charged with multiple counts of racketeering. https://t.co/XMAFEDFiM6
— News 6 WKMG (@news6wkmg) November 17, 2022
Investigators tell News 6 the men identified as targeted Duval County and other parts of northern Florida to install counterfeit pulsar devices inside gas station pumps to slow down the mechanism that calculates gallons sold and the price you pay at the pump. The suspects reportedly chose northern Florida because they thought it would be easier to operate there.
The pulsar device can be constructed for about $40 but has been sold for as much as $5,000 to other fuel thieves.
Senior Special Agent Roger Fuentes of the USSS Orlando office stated:
“This is the first time we’ve ever charged racketeering in relation to diesel theft,” ”It’s never been done before, and it’s being spearheaded by the state attorney’s office.”
Fuentes said he hoped the charges will set a precedent and deliver a “big deterrence” to the fuel thefts being reported in Florida and across the country.
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