Sheriff nabs parts-for-meds suspect

By MARGARET BAKER – mbbaker@sunherald.com

Memphis Shane Riddle

PASCAGOULA

 The search has ended for an Alabama man accused of trading prescription pain medication for parts from Chevron’s Pascagoula Refinery, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said.

Memphis Shane Riddle, 39, of Brewton, was identified last week as a suspect in the theft of stainless steel fittings from the Pascagoula plant in recent years. He is charged with embezzlement and is currently out of jail on a $5,000 bond.

Riddle is the third person identified as a suspect in the thefts that authorities believe first started several years ago. Riddle allegedly had subcontractors at Chevron stealing the parts in exchange for the prescription painkiller, OxyContin. Sheriff’s investigators believe Riddle later repackaged the parts and sold them to wholesalers in Escambia, Fla., and Ponchatoula, La. He could face additional charges.

First arrested in the case was David Randall Goff, 36, of Saraland, Ala., who also is charged with embezzlement. Authorities believe Goff, who worked for a subcontractor at the plant at the time of his arrest, stole more than $30,000 in parts in exchange for the drugs.

The sheriff said at least two other former contract employees allegedly participated in the scheme. Their identities, however, are being withheld because they are cooperating with authorities. Evidence against them will be presented to a grand jury for possible indictment.

Chevron spokesman Steve Renfroe said a refinery employee tipped off security officials to the alleged scheme. “As soon as we found out about it, we turned it over to the Sheriff’s Department,” Renfroe said.

The investigation is continuing. To report information, call the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department at 769-3063.
Read more: http://www.sunherald.com/2010/05/03/2150957/sheriff-nabs-parts-for-meds-suspect.html#ixzz0mxjNmU1t

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