Elgin Couple Charged with Conspiracy to Steal Military Jet Fuel
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 14, 2011|
OKLAHOMA CITY—A federal grand jury has indicted DOYLE LATIMER, 55, and his wife, CYNTHIA LATIMER, 59, both from Elgin, Oklahoma, for conspiracy to steal jet fuel and defraud the United States, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.
The United States government purchases jet fuel (Jet Propellant 8 or JP-8) from Conoco Phillips Fuel Terminal (“Conoco”) in Oklahoma City and the Wynnewood Refinery in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, to supply the fuel needs at various military bases. JP-8 jet fuel contains a fuel system icing inhibitor used by military aircraft. Without JP-8’s additives, the operation of the aircraft is endangered at high altitudes where temperatures are below freezing.
According to the indictment, Regional Associates, Inc. (“Regional”), located in Midwest City, Oklahoma was a common carrier approved by the United States to transport the JP-8 jet fuel purchased by the United States to various military bases. It is alleged that Regional subcontracted with Latimer Trucking, LLC (“Latimer Trucking”), owned and operated by Doyle Latimer, to provide several drivers and trucks capable of hauling approximately 7,500 gallons of the JP-8 jet fuel. Cynthia Latimer was employed by Latimer Trucking and kept the business and payroll records. It is alleged that Latimer Trucking’s drivers made an average of two deliveries per truck per day to designated military bases and that Latimer’s trucks, which normally burn diesel fuel, can also operate on the JP-8 jet fuel.
The indictment alleges that the Latimers conspired to steal the JP-8 jet fuel intended for delivery to the United States military and use that fuel to operate its fleet of trucks in order to substantially reduce the costs of their daily trucking operation. Specifically, it is alleged that Doyle Latimer directed his truck drivers to steal jet fuel (JP-8) after picking up loads from Conoco or Wynnewood and divert some of the fuel into storage tanks at one of Latimer Trucking’s business locations or directly into the truck saddle tanks before delivering the load to the designated military installation. To do so, it is alleged that the drivers would remove the seal intended to prevent theft or contamination, divert the fuel, and replace the seal prior to delivery. Upon delivery, it is alleged that Latimer would present military personnel with bills of lading that falsely represented it was a full load. It is also alleged that Latimer Trucking drivers would steal additional JP-8 fuel by not unloading all of the fuel at the destination and later transferring the remainder into tanks owned by Latimer Trucking at one of their locations. Reference is made to the indictment for further information.
If convicted, the Latimers each face up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, plus mandatory restitution.
These charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ross N. Lillard III.
The public is reminded that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial, at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.