Employees of fuel hauler sentenced in hazmat case

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Three employees of a Florida trucking company were sentenced Aug. 9 to serve five years probation each by a U.S. District Court judge in Fort Lauderdale as a result of their prior guilty pleas to charges of violating federal hazardous material transportation regulations by hauling and storing gasoline and diesel fuel without required safeguards, according to the Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General.

Leonel San Martin, Alberto Alvarez, and Yoel Betancourt – employees of Fort Lauderdale-based Genesis Petroleum – pleaded guilty on May 31 to charges of conspiring to commit wire fraud and failing to properly placard, store, transport, transfer and handle fuel transported from terminals at Port Everglades to customers between Key West and Fort Pierce, according to DOT-OIG.

Another employee, Noel Delgado-Hernandez, was sentenced to five years probation Aug. 3 as a result of his guilty plea on similar charges, DOT-OIG said; Genesis and its director, Ricardo Mejia, are scheduled for sentencing Sept. 10.

According to DOT-OIG, company drivers submitted false delivery receipts stating they had delivered fuel to their customers, when in fact they diverted 11,000 gallons of fuel to illegal tanks located in a vacant lot leased by Mejia near Port Everglades; the fuel then was used by Genesis employees, their relatives and friends for personal and business use. The case was investigated by DOT-OIG with the Internal Revenue Service, the Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and several Broward County agencies.