An Alabama man was sentenced to six months in federal prison Tuesday for his role in a conspiracy to transport thousands of dollars in stolen oil across the state line into Mississippi.
Mark Wayne Bush, 51, of Gilbertown, Alabama, was indicted by a grand jury last December along with co-defendants Oliver Leggett Jr. and Earnest Ronald Hays — also whom previously held jobs in or related to the oil production industry.
Bush formerly worked as a contractor for Pruet Oil, which operates oil fields in Clark County. Leggett was a truck driver transporting sludge and waste oil and Hays headed Hays Petroleum, an oil company in Heidelberg, Mississippi.
According to authorities, Bush, Leggett and Hays conspired to steal crude oil from Pruet Oil. Police say Bush and Leggett communicated about the best times to steal crude oil, which tanks to use to take the oil, and how many barrels to load out of each tank.Relying on Bush’s information, Leggett went to Pruet Oil at various times, loaded stolen crude oil onto his truck and transported it to Hays, who paid Leggett for the stolen oil. Leggett, in turn, paid Bush a portion of the stolen oil proceeds.
On May 19, 2016, Bush pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to transport stolen oil in interstate commerce. Leggett and Hays have also pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and will face sentencing hearings later this year.
The case was investigated by the Clarke County Sheriff’s Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.
The case was overseen by the office of Kenyan Brown, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, and prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorneys Sinan Kalayoglu and Greg Bordenkircher.