EL RENO — A Yukon man has been charged with multiple felony counts that could land him in prison for decades as authorities continue to investigate a string of crude oil thefts in several counties.
Mark Dale Bass Jr. was arrested Thursday after being charged last month in Canadian County District Court with six counts of tapping a pipeline to steal oil, each one punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
Bass, 34, also faces charges of concealing stolen property, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of methamphetamine stemming from his Oct. 5 arrest after authorities followed him to a well site near Rush Springs.
Bass, who owns his own tanker truck, subsequently admitted to multiple oil thefts after investigators debunked his claim that the truck was filled with wastewater from a tank battery near Davis, according to court documents.
Canadian County sheriff's Capt. Kevin Ward said Friday the case is still under investigation as authorities try to determine if anyone else was involved in the thefts.
“We're following up on leads that we have,” Ward said.
Bass, who is free after posting $30,000 bail, is due back in court Jan. 30.
His attorney, Chris Sloan, declined to comment on the case.
Bass is accused of stealing oil from well sites belonging to three different energy companies in August and September. Authorities also followed him to a Grady County site owned by Edmond's Spring Energy Co.
Bass could face additional charges in other counties. Authorities are investigating thefts in at least six counties.
Canadian County prosecutors also have begun proceedings to seize Bass' truck, a 2001 Peterbilt with a 150-barrel tank trailer.