Across South Florida, crooks use “skimmers” to steal credit-card numbers at gas stations, then using the accounts to buy fuel that is transported in vehicles illegally laden with dangerous fuel.
With three tanker trucks delivering diesel in South Florida, South River Fuel seemed like a legitimate operation. Investigators say the Medley company, while registered with the state, had no licenses to sell or deliver fuel and the logos were just a front for an illegal operation to buy and sell diesel as part of South Florida’s thriving black market for fuel, The Miami Herald reports. Prosecutors on Tuesday announced criminal charges against the company’s owners, who are accused of purchasing the fuel from truck drivers who used stolen credit-card numbers to buy diesel from gas stations across South Florida.
Across South Florida, crooks use “skimmers” to steal credit-card numbers at gas stations, then using the accounts to buy fuel that is transported in vehicles illegally laden with dangerous fuel. It’s believed to be the most expansive case brought against illegal fuel sellers — and buyers — who have helped make underground diesel sales a lucrative underground trade. State prosecutors charged 11 people, most of them drivers. South River is believed to have sold fuel, at cheaper rates, to rental-car companies, tow-truck yards, truckers and even gas stations. Some knew the gas was hot, while others did not know South River was unlicensed. “We wanted to get the kings of these operations to be held accountable,” said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said. The company’s owners, Jorge Guerra and Yadian Sosa, were charged along with nine others, most of them drivers of so-called “fuel bladder” vehicles covertly outfitted with dangerous gas containers that pose a huge risk of fire or explosion.