Vandewalker pleads guilty and is sentenced in crude oil theft
Farmer Staff Writer
On May 11, Joseph Vandewalker, one of four men charged in the theft of $2.4 million of crude oil in 2022, pleaded guilty to a Class A Felony of conspiracy to commit theft exceeding $50,000, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $20,000 fine; and a Class C Felony for trafficking in stolen property, which has a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and $10,000 fine.
According to court records, Vandewalker and three other individuals were charged in connection to the theft, or “skimming,” of crude oil in June 2022. Vandewalker, who was a crude oil truck driver at the time, was found by police to be one of the top two drivers in this illegal operation, with law enforcement citing him as delivering 10 percent of the stolen crude deliveries.
Bank records obtained by law enforcement through the execution of a search warrant showed Vandewalker received $58,325, not including cash payments, from one of the convicted members of the group for his part in the ongoing incident.
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