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Trucker accused of moving stolen fuel in Nassau County

Published on September 14, 2023 at 4:14 pm

A man from Miami was arrested in Nassau County on charges of transporting hundreds of gallons of stolen diesel fuel — a crime that is drawing increased scrutiny in Florida.

Juan Carlos Chapelin Marcos, 49, was arrested after officers with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services noticed him drive past the agricultural inspection station on Interstate 95 South near the Florida-Georgia border on Sunday in a gray truck.

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Once he was pulled over, officers saw he had two 300-gallon containers that were half full with a dark-colored liquid. Chapelin Marcos admitted it was diesel fuel, the report said.

The containers were not permanently affixed to the trailer and had no hazmat signs or anything else identifying the fuel. When officers inspected the trailer, they found a pump and tubes connected to the containers, through the nose of the trailer and connected underneath the truck. 

Officials say the setup was consistent with fuel theft and transporting stolen fuel.

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Florida Agricultural Commissioner Wilton Simpson says organized fuel theft hurts businesses and consumers. Similar thefts, usually from gas stations, have occur across the country as gas prices rise.

During this year’s legislative session in Florida, lawmakers created increased criminal penalties to combat retail fuel theft. The increased penalties went into effect July 1 and included criminal penalties for possessing or using an auxiliary fuel tank to commit retail fuel theft.

As for Chapelin Marcos, he is charged with eight felony and misdemeanor charges, including a third-degree felony of unlawful conveyance of fuel and unlawful transportation of motor vehicle fuel over public highways.

He bonded out of the Nassau County Jail on Sept. 12, according to the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office.


author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Steven Ponson has six years of experience covering news in Jacksonville and Northeast Florida. Prior to arriving on the First Coast, Steven also worked in radio in Orlando. He attended the University of Central Florida where he earned a degree in radio and television. Steven has been a reporter, producer, anchor and board operator. Outside of work, Steven loves to watch sports, cook delicious cajun food (as any good Louisiana native does) and spend time outdoors.
author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Steven Ponson has six years of experience covering news in Jacksonville and Northeast Florida. Prior to arriving on the First Coast, Steven also worked in radio in Orlando. He attended the University of Central Florida where he earned a degree in radio and television. Steven has been a reporter, producer, anchor and board operator. Outside of work, Steven loves to watch sports, cook delicious cajun food (as any good Louisiana native does) and spend time outdoors.

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