Crime & Courts

Hillsboro man indicted in oil and gas scheme

A federal grand jury on Tuesday indicted a 70-year-old Hillsboro man on one count of wire fraud for allegedly carrying out a $7.9 million oil and gas scheme, Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said in a news release.

David K. Lawson is accused of making a deal to sell 90 barrels of crude oil a day to a company called Parnon Gathering, but instead of delivering that product, he gave the business raw gas oil, Beall said. Lawson owned and directed Sonstone Trading at the time, he said.

Crude oil is an unrefined product from oil wells. Raw gas oil is a mix of refined petroleum products; it has a low vapor pressure and is less valuable than crude oil, he said. For more information on oil and gas fraud, visit www.stopfraud.gov/oil-gas-fwg.html.

If convicted, Lawson faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. He could also be ordered to pay restitution, Beall said.

Other federal indictments announced Tuesday

▪ Random Shane Smith, 36, of Wichita was charged with two counts of aggravated sexual abuse, one count of producing child pornography, one count of possessing child pornography and one count of tampering with a witness from 2014 to 2016 while he lived at McConnell Air Force Base. He was originally charged in a criminal complaint May 13. The two alleged victims are teenage girls.

▪ Drew Alan Reed, 42, of El Dorado and Timothy Wayne Rosebaum of Augusta were charged with lying to a federally licensed firearms dealer when buying a gun on Dec. 3, 2014, at the Cabela’s store at 2447 N. Greenwich.

▪ Jonathan C. Wolfinbarger, 54, of Wakeeney and Steven R. Hansen, 62, of Fontana, Calif., were charged with methamphetamine possession with the intent to distribute and with using the U.S. mail in furtherance of drug trafficking in June and July 2015 in Trego County.

▪ Vernon J. Walker, 45, and Tabitha A. Hanchett, 35, both of Wichita, were charged with meth possession with the intent to distribute. Walker also faces counts of unlawfully possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, unlawful possession of a firearm following a felony conviction and unlawful possession of a firearm by a user of controlled substances. The crimes allegedly occurred on Jan. 15 in Sedgwick County.

▪ Rhonda J. Smith, 47, of Wichita was charged with two counts of money laundering to conceal funds from a bankruptcy trustee.

▪ Carlos Alejandro Casas-Pulido, 33, of Mexico was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a person unlawfully in the United States and unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported.

▪ Fidelina Morales-Escobar, 25, of Guatemala was charged with document fraud, making a false statement on an employment verification form, misusing a Social Security number and aggravated identity theft in 2014 and 2016 in Harper County.

▪ Angel Adan Prado-Neri, 36, of Mexico was charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found May 3 in Sedgwick County.

▪ Nicholas A. Moore, 33, was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm following a felony conviction on Jan. 5 in Emporia.

Amy Renee Leiker: 316-268-6644, @amyreneeleiker

  Comments