January 23, 2015

Monahans Man Pleads Guilty in Oil Theft Scheme

In Midland, 33-year-old David Wayne Schroeder of Monahans, TX, faces up to ten years in federal prison for theft of approximately $58,000 worth of oil announced Acting United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and FBI Special Agent in Charge Douglas E. Lindquist, El Paso Division.

Appearing yesterday before United States Magistrate Judge David Counts, Schroeder pleaded guilty to three counts of theft from an interstate shipment. By pleading guilty, Schroeder admitted that on three separate occasions in November and December 2013, Schroeder stole oil from different Permian Basin companies. On November 13, 2013, Schroeder admittedly stole a truckload of oil from Williams Oil Company in Crane County and delivered it to Itero Energy’s site in Monahans for payment. On November 27, 2013, Schroeder admittedly stole a truckload of oil from Devon Energy in Crane County and delivered it to Itero for payment. The estimated value of each load of stolen oil is $10,000.

The final incident, according to court records, occurred during the evening hours of November 30, 2013, and into the early morning hours of December 1, 2013, when Schroeder admittedly used a stolen vacuum truck and trailer to steal five tankerloads (approximately 520 barrels) of oil from a Whiting Petroleum lease in Ward County. Schroeder delivered the stolen oil to Itero for payment. A Ward County Sheriff’s deputy dispatched to investigate a possible stolen vacuum truck on Itero’s site witnessed Schroeder off-loading oil and attempted to question him. After a brief altercation with the deputy, Schroeder managed to flee the scene in a stolen vehicle, but was apprehended later that morning in Monahans. Investigators discovered Schroeder had left four tickets each documenting a separate tanker load delivered to Itero’s site. In the normal course of business, the tickets would have justified and likely led to Itero’s payment for the oil deliveries.

Schroeder remains in federal custody pending sentencing scheduled for April 10, 2015, in Midland before U.S. District Judge Robert A. Junell.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Permian Basin Oilfield Theft Task Force, which consists of federal agents as well as law enforcement officers from the Midland County Sheriff’s Office and the Andrews County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney John Klassen is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.