November 29, 2018
Louisiana Company Employees Sentenced for Their Roles in Conspiracy To Illegally Transport and Dispose of Explosives
On November 29, 2018, five employees of Explo Systems, Inc. (Explo)—David Smith, owner; William Wright, vice president of operations; Kenneth Lampkin, program manager; Lionel Koons, traffic and inventory control manager; and Charles Callihan, director of engineering and environmental control, were sentenced in U.S. District Court, Shreveport, Louisiana. All five admitted that they participated in a scheme to illegally transport and store over 15.6 million pounds of explosive munitions during a demilitarization contract with the U.S. Army.
- Smith was sentenced to 110 months’ incarceration, 36 months’ supervised release, and $34,798,761 in restitution. He was convicted by plea in December 2017 after admitting that he conspired with others to defraud the United States by preventing Federal, State, and local authorities from properly monitoring the operations at Explo’s Camp Minden facility.
- Koons was sentenced to 41 months’ incarceration, 36 months’ supervised release, and $92,921 in restitution. He was convicted by plea in April 2018 after admitting that he submitted a false statement to the U.S. Army that failed to reveal Explo had been ordered to not accept more M6 artillery propellant (M6) due to insufficient storage space.
- Callihan was sentenced to 24 months’ incarceration, 12 months’ supervised release, and $207,599 in restitution. He was convicted by plea in June 2018 after admitting that he created a false Material Safety Data Sheet and Special Waste Profile that omitted the fact that Explo wanted to dispose a hazardous material at a nonhazardous landfill.
- Wright was sentenced to 60 months’ incarceration, 36 months’ supervised release, and $149,032.80 in restitution. He was convicted by plea in June 2018 after admitting that he and other Explo officials intentionally conspired to defraud the United States by preventing local, State, and Federal Government agencies from overseeing and monitoring operations at the Explo facility.
- Lampkin was sentenced to 45 months’ incarceration, 36 months’ supervised release, and $149,032.80 in restitution. He was convicted by plea in May 2018 after admitting he emailed a fraudulent End-Use Certificate (EUC) to the U.S. Army certifying that Explo sold 297,360 pounds of demilitarized M6 to a third party. However, Explo did not sell the M6, and the third-party official’s signature on the EUC was forged.
Explo operated a bomb demilitarization and explosives recycling facility at the Louisiana National Guard facility at Camp Minden. In 2006, an explosion at the facility caused a nearby town to evacuate. In 2012, another explosion led to the discovery of over 6 million pounds of illegally stored M6. To accommodate the illegal storage of M6, Explo shipped reactive hazardous waste under false pretenses to third-party landfills.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division, Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Louisiana State Police Emergency Service Unit.