A Waverly man is accused of illegally transporting thousands of gallons of petroleum and diesel fuel in Fayette County.

Zachary Less is co-owner of the Pit Lane convenience stores in Waverly, Arlington and Volga. Sheriff's officials said they started an investigation a week ago after learning that Less, 22, was allegedly transporting the fuel from store to store, using only a trailer and plastic tanks. Authorities were granted a search warrant in the case.

Around 1:30 a.m. Friday (March 24, 2017), Fayette County deputies stopped Less and found over 1,000 gallons of fuel hidden in a trailer being pulled by his personal vehicle. The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) assisted with the search and found numerous violations related to the incident, sheriff's officials said in a news release.

Investigators also executed a search warrant at the Pit Lane store in Arlington to gather evidence in the case.

Less was taken into custody and transported to the Fayette County jail in West Union. He's charged with 23 counts of the following offenses: improper transport of Hazmat material, load not secure in vehicle, operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) without a CDL license, driving without proper endorsements of a CDL, expired vehicle registration, no required placards, no shipping papers for load, no markings on 1,000- and 250-gallon holding tanks, and no breakaway device connected to towing unit.

Sheriff's officials said the investigation remains active. Authorities indicated that more charges of "ongoing criminal conduct" could be filed at later date.

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