April 25, 2018
Owner and Employees of California Trucking Companies Indicted on Charges of Conspiring To Conduct Illegal Repairs
On April 25, Carl Johansson, Enrique Garcia, Donald Spicer, and two trucking companies—National Distribution Services (NDSI) and Wholesale Distribution (WDI)—were indicted in U.S. District Court, Central District of California, on charges they conspired to defeat Federal transportation laws. All five defendants were charged with participating in a scheme to conduct illegal repairs on cargo tanks used to transport gasoline—which in one case resulted in a fatal explosion—and obstructing DOT investigations into those activities.
According to the indictment, in 2014, two welders were repairing a cargo tanker at NDSI when it exploded. One welder was killed, and another was seriously injured. NDSI did not have the proper licenses to weld cargo tanks. FMCSA issued an Out-of-Service Order to NDSI and put approximately 37 cargo tankers out of service. NDSI was controlled and operated by Johansson. Garcia was the shop manager, and Spicer was the safety manager.
In early 2015, NDSI allegedly transformed into WDI, which began conducting business as a hazardous materials trucking company. Johansson managed WDI, and Garcia and Spicer had the same roles they’d had at NDSI. Spicer registered WDI with FMCSA, but he did not identify the previous affiliation with NDSI. Specifically, he indicated on the registration paperwork that WDI’s management was not associated with any previous entity.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.