Man Caught Filling 270-Gallon Container in Van at Miami Gas Station

A man was arrested for illegally hauling gas after he was caught with a 270-gallon container at a Miami gas station Tuesday, police said.

Fire rescue workers initially responded to the gas station near Northwest 17th Avenue and 20th Street for a spill, Miami police officials said.

Police said the man, later identified as Osvaldo Pelaez, was filling the large container, which was in his van, when it started spilling. Vans with containers like the one found often pump gas illegally, police said. Fraudulent credit cards and 45 gifts cards were found on Pelaez, according to detectives. Officials believe the gift cards were being used to buy the fuel. 

The suspect appeared in bond court Wednesday. He was already out on bond for a previous grand theft charge and attending a court-ordered rehabilitation program. 

"We anticipated that case being dismissed and at the end stages of that and then he was just arrested here and of course we're going to fight the charges," said Arnold Trevilla, Palaez's defense attorney.

Pelaez was charged with possession of an illegal gas tank, unlawful transportation of gas and credit card fraud. If convicted, he could be sentenced to five years in federal prison for each charge.

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