Fuel Theft, Creek Contamination in Joaquin Under Investigation (Update)

June 7, 2023 - Constable Cheatwood confirms Daniel Eaves, 38, of Center and Luke Odom, 39, of Timpson were two individuals arrested involving the theft of diesel on Thursday, June 1, 2023, and illegal drugs were also located.

Eaves was charged with theft of petroleum product, state jail felony; engaging in organized criminal activity, felony 3; and possession of a controlled substance PG1 >4G <400G, felony 2. Odom was charged with theft of petroleum product, state jail felony; and engaging in organized criminal activity, felony 3.

This incident remains under investigation and additional arrests are likely.

June 2, 2023 - Law enforcement officials investigated a fuel theft Thursday, June 1, 2023, which resulted in the necessity of an environmental cleanup due to a spill.

Roy Cheatwood, Constable Precinct 3, was initially contacted about the incident on East Saddle Street near a city lift station. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department was contacted by City of Joaquin officials to also respond to the location. 

The area was strong with the odor of diesel fuel and it appeared a large quantity of the fuel had spilled into the stagnant body of water in a nearby creek. A garden hose was visible hanging from a fuel tank located within a fenced area beside the roadway, and large plastic drums were tipped over beside the creek located within the woods. 

A trail from the fuel tank led through the woods to a neighboring trailer park where additional drums suspected of containing fuel were located. 

Lonestar Hazmat was requested for cleanup of the spill, and officers continued their investigation of the apparent theft of diesel fuel.

Josh Tipton, Constable Precinct 5, and Austin Cryer, Texas Game Warden, also responded to the scene to assist in the investigation.

A hazmat crew will be working to clean the area. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department has made arrests as a result of their investigation which is still ongoing.

Representatives of the city, including Mayor Jessie Griffith were on scene to assist throughout the day.