ARIZONA NEWS

Crime syndicate busted for allegedly manipulating diesel fuel pumps across Valley

Dec 2, 2023, 7:30 AM | Updated: 9:03 am

PHOENIX — Four men were arrested this week for allegedly participating in a scheme that siphoned thousands of dollars’ worth of diesel fuel from gas stations throughout the Valley, authorities said.

Luis Lavendero-Perez (38), Silvio Machado (41), Heykel Lugo (40) and Carlos Ochoa (24) were all arrested on Wednesday for multiple counts of organizing and assisting a criminal syndicate, the Peoria Police Department said. Lavendero-Perez and Machado were also charged with burglary.

Detectives were tipped off to the case when merchants began to notice that the amounts of fuel were not matching the sales that were being recorded.

Investigators discovered that the suspects had tampered with the pumps and manipulated the calibrating systems to reduce the price of diesel fuel.

The suspects allegedly got away with 2,900 gallons, resulting in $11,000 in losses for the gas stations.

Along with the four suspects, multiple vehicles were seized by authorities during the bust.

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Crime syndicate busted for allegedly manipulating diesel fuel pumps across Valley