Florida man charged for role in stolen diesel, gas operation

| 2/8/2011

Federal prosecutors have charged a Florida man with rigging a box truck to illegally haul stolen diesel and gas from an underground storage tank to multiple service stations.

In late January, Hobert H. Gibson was charged in U.S. District Court in Tampa, FL, with conspiracy and transportation of hazardous materials.

According to the U.S. DOT Office of Inspector General, Gibson allegedly siphoned gasoline and diesel fuel using a hose, batteries, and a pump into three unapproved tanks with a capacity of more than 1,600 gallons. The tanks were mounted on an unmarked box trailer he hauled in between his Winter Haven home, his business and customers in the Polk County, FL, area.

Gibson had no placards and didn?t possess a CDL with a hazmat endorsement.

The Associated Press reported in 2007 that Gibson, then 70, would pull over at gas stations near storage tanks, pop his hood and pretend to fix a problem as he used a trap door to hide his siphoning activities.

He even admitted to police later that he once talked with a state trooper while engaging in his scheme.

The investigation was conducted jointly between Polk County (FL) Sheriff?s Office, FMCSA, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration.