Two Missouri Fireworks Companies and Three Corporate Officers Indicted on Charges of Obstruction and Illegal Shipping of Explosive Materials
Two Missouri pyrotechnic manufacturing companies and three officers were indicted on obstruction of agency proceedings related to three explosions at one plant and illegal transportation and storage of hazardous wastes. The indictment by a Federal grand jury in St. Louis, MO, names Pyro Products, Inc., and Next F/X, Inc., both in Dittmer, MO, along with Ronald R. Walker, his wife, Kim J. Walker, and Russell R. Nickel, all residing in Columbus, MT. The indictment remained under seal until August 12, after Nickel was arrested in Montana by special agents from OIG and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
The Walkers and Nickel are charged with alleged attempts to hide various illegal acts surrounding three explosions at Pyro Products, one in November 1999 and two in 2001, in which two employees died and five were injured. Misconduct is also alleged related to the illegal manufacture and shipping of explosives, illegal transportation of hazardous wastes, and creation of false documents to mislead Federal inspectors. The case is a joint investigation of OIG, ATF, and the Missouri State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the government, all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.