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Police: Four New York Men Arrested For Illegal Gasoline Purchases

Gas shortage in N.Y. has kept Norwalk's authorities busy responding to out-of-state residents pumping gasoline into improvised containers.

Four New York men were arrested in Norwalk Tuesday for pumping gasoline into improper containers, police said.

Police and firefighters were called to the Citgo station at 211 East Ave. shortly before 2 p.m. on a report a man was filling a container inside his car.

Officers reported finding a 65-gallon plastic container on the car’s back seat containing about 40 gallons of gas.

The man, later identified as Derrick Alago, allegedly told officers he purchased the container for $400.

Firefighters ordered the station be closed and contacted the state Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection.

The gasoline in the container, worth about $100, was pumped back into the station’s underground tank, according to police spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Cotto.

Alago, 28, of Brooklyn, was issued a summons for violation of state regulations for storing and transporting flammable and combustible liquids.

At 8:42 p.m., police officers and firefighters were dispatched to Norwalk Getty at 331 West Ave. on a report a man was pumping gasoline into a container in the trunk of his car.

Police said it was a plastic, 12-gallon container containing a little over 6 gallons of gas. They said the man was using a balled-up plastic bag to plug the its opening.

They reported also finding a 30-gallon container on the car’s back seat filled with gas.

Wilmer Simbana, 27, of Richmond Hills, Queens, was issued a summons for violation of state regulations for storing and transporting flammable and combustible liquids.

Shortly after 9 p.m., police officers and firefighters were called back to the Citgo station on East Avenue. This time the complaint was that two men were pumping gasoline into two 55-gallon plastic containers on a truck.

Officers reported both containers were filled with gas, and the truck also had several smaller containers that were empty.

The Fire Department reported signs at the pumps described and illustrated the types of containers into which gasoline can legally be pumped in Connecticut.

Kevin McCormick, 55, of Hicksville, Long Island, and Frank Russo, 25, of Howard Beach, Queens, were charged with two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree reckless endangerment, and two counts of violating state regulations for storing and transporting flammable and combustible liquids.

Both were held on $8,000 bond and given court dates of Nov. 15.

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