FARMINGTON — Two men have been arrested on suspicion of stealing fuel from BHP Billiton, according to a Thursday evening press release from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office.
Juel Jordahl and Roy Swapp are accused of stealing an estimated $480,000 in fuel from the business since 2011. Both men have been arrested and booked into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center.
BHP Billiton officials contacted the Sheriff's Office in late April and shared their suspicions about the alleged theft. BHP Billiton, an oil and gas company, operates Navajo Mine.
Jordahl is the owner of Tri-Delta Iron and Metals and Four Corners Scrap and Salvage. Since 2009, Tri-Delta Iron and Metals has had a contract with BHP Billiton that allows the business to dispose of scrap metals from BHP's mining operations.
The contract was overseen by BHP Billiton manager Roy Swapp, according to the press release. He and Jordahl became friends soon after the contract's start, police said.
Jordahl visited BHP Billiton daily, sending his employees several times a day to fill their truck bed-mounted surplus fuel tanks with red-dye diesel from the mine's pump station in Waterflow, according to the press release. The employees then allegedly transported the fuel back to Tri-Delta's yard in Waterflow and loaded it into large storage containers.
Jordahl has been charged with three second-degree felonies for racketeering, larceny and disposing of stolen property. His bond is set at $30,000.
Swapp faces a second-degree felony for racketeering and a third-degree felony for receiving stolen property. His bond is set at $25,000.