Comptroller Franchot’s FED Agents Cite Pa. Man for Trying to Sell Untaxed Motor Fuel in Western Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (February 11, 2019) - Comptroller Peter Franchot announced Monday that agents from the Field Enforcement Division (FED) cited a Pennsylvania man on February 6 who was trying to sell motor fuel from a fuel delivery truck without a license and registration in Maryland.

“Our FED agents are on the job round-the-clock to catch tax cheats who don’t want to play by the rules like hard-working Maryland businesses and families do,” said Comptroller Peter Franchot. “I commend them for their diligence and for partnering with the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division troopers from the Maryland State Police in stopping trucks carrying untaxed fuel in Maryland.”

Agents cited Eric Coleman Swank, 42 of Markleysburg, (Fayette County) Pa., who was driving a 2005 Peterbilt tank wagon registered to Laurel Fuel Company of Rockwood, (Somerset County) Pa., with operating a motor vehicle on a highway in the State of Maryland with dyed fuel in the propulsion tank; engaging in motor fuel business without a license; transporting motor fuel/special fuel without registration; and unlawfully failing to have a copy of loading ticket. He also was cited by the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division (CVED) of the Maryland State Police for no hazmat endorsement; no apportioned registration; no shipping papers for hazmat and displaying expired Pennsylvania registration plate. Laurel Fuel Company is not licensed to sell fuel in Maryland.

Acting on a tip from the Comptroller’s Revenue Administration Division, FED agents began conducting petroleum transporter inspections on fuel delivery vehicles operating in Garrett County near the Maryland/Pennsylvania state line. On Wednesday morning, agents and inspectors stopped Mr. Swank’s truck at U.S. Routes 40 and 219 at Keysers Ridge in Accident.

Agents then conducted an inspection of the truck and discovered untaxed dyed fuel in the propulsion tank of the truck, which is a violation of state law. The driver also admitted to making a delivery of fuel at a nearby location in Maryland. Agents then contacted MSP’s CVED.

Agents and troopers cited Mr. Swank, seized the delivery vehicle and remaining fuel onboard and took it to a secured impound lot in Jessup. Additional delivery documents indicating multiple Maryland fuel deliveries also were recovered and seized as part of the inspection. The value of the untaxed fuel has not been determined. The investigation is continuing.

Photos available upon request.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Susan O’Brien – sobrien@comp.state.md.us
410-260-7305 (office); 443-875-8540 (mobile)

Alan Brody -  abrody@comp.state.md.us
410-260-6346 (office); 443-924-1473 (mobile)