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COUNTY PAID FOR CLEANUP OF DUMPED FUEL BY COURT ORDER

In January of 2019 deputies were dispatched to SH 99 and Valley Ranch for a fuel spill. Porter Fire was dispatched to the scene as deputies followed a trail of spilled fuel. That trail ran for over 5-miles to the 21200 block of Oak Leaf. There deputies found Luis Mario Vela-Reyes,32, sitting in a box truck that was backed into a ditch. In the rear were two 500 gallon plastic containers full of diesel fuel spilling into the ditch. The containers were almost empty. Also inside the truck deputies found a pump and hoses. This type of setup is used by fuel thieves where they park over a fuel tank in a gas station parking lot and siphon the fuel. Sgt. Miller contacted DPS Commercial Vehicle Division and a Trooper was dispatched to the scene. Vela-Reyes was found to have at least 20-violations on the truck. In addition inside the cab of the truck were citations for previous violations. A hazmat crew was tasked with an all-night clean-up. Commissioner Mett’s responded to the scene and cautioned resident s in the area to use extreme caution until the clean-up was complete. The road surface was so slick that Mett’s truck slid to a stop as he arrived at the scene. Deputies also found Vela-Reyes in possession of several credit cards that were not in his name. In addition, was a receipt for fuel purchase. Vela-Reyes was charged with a Third-degree felony of Inten Know Unauthorized Discharge Waste. and Fraudulent possess items of identifying information. In August 221st District Judge Lisa Michalk accepted a plea bargain worked out between Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office Prosecutor Nathan Alsbrooks and Vela-Reyes. The fraudulent possession of identifying information case was dismissed. The third-degree felony for the discharge was reduced to a Class A Misdemeanor of Unauthorized Discharge. He was given 2-years of deferred probation and a fine of $1000. In addition, he was ordered to pay Montgomery County Precinct 4 a sum of $5000 to reimburse them for the clean-up bill. He was also ordered to perform 50-hours of Community Service at a minimum of 16-hours per month. In Tuesdays Commissioners Court meeting Precinct 4 Commissioner Metts thanked the District Attorneys Office, Texas Rangers, DPS and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office for their help in bringing Vela-Reyes to justice and getting the county reimbursed for the costs of clean-up.

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