TAMPA - Four employees of a warehouse company face charges of stealing 125,000 pounds of fertilizer and then selling it, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
The four men arrested work for Kinder-Morgan Storage Facility, which is located at the Port of Tampa. They are: terminal manager Scott Stevens, 42; maintenance supervisor David Boyd, 43; operations supervisor Timothy Moore, 50 and Kelley Faulk, 46.
According to Capt. Steve Launikitis with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the fertilizer is stored at the warehouse until the purchaser picks it up. Before that happened, he said these four men took three truckloads-full and sold it to Central Florida farmers.
Launikitis said it was unclear whether the farms knew they were purchasing stolen fertilizer. They made in the vicinity of $20,000.
An undercover deputy purchased the fertilizer from the four men, Launikitis said, adding that the operation was “not well put together.”
He also said he was confident that the fertilizer was not being sold to people who intended to use it as part of any explosive device. The right kind of fertilizer can be mixed with fuel and a detonator to act as a bomb.
“It is fertilizer. There is a possibility it could have been used in a hazardous situation,” Launikitis said. “(But) through this investigation, we learned it was used solely for the purpose of agriculture.”
According to Emily Mir, spokesperson for Kinder-Morgan, the company is cooperating with the investigation and is looking at their internal procedures to prevent this from happening in the future, as well as seeing if it has happened before.
All four men face grand theft charges. Stevens, the terminal manager, also faces a charge of trafficking in stolen property.
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