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Two Trucking Repair Companies, 1 Truckload Transportation Company, and 11 Individuals Charged in Major Clean Air Act Investigation

On April 25, 2023, in the Western District of Michigan, the U.S. Attorney filed an information charging three companies and nine individuals for conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act. The companies are Diesel Freak, LLC; Accurate Truck Service, LLC; and Griffin Transportation, Inc. The individuals charged are Ryan Lalone, Wade Lalone, Douglas Larsen, Craig Scholten, Ryan Bos, Robert Swainston, Randy “Jeb” Clelland, Scott Dekock, and Glenn Hoezee. On the same day, a grand jury in the Western District of Michigan indicted Dustin Rhine and James Sisson for their involvement in the scheme. According to the information and indictment, the companies and individuals conspired to disable the emissions controls on hundreds of semi-trucks.
According to public records filed in the case, Ryan Lalone owns Diesel Freak, where Wade Lalone, Rhine, and Sisson were employed. Larsen, Scholten, and Bos own Accurate Truck Service, where Swainston and Clelland were employed. Scholten and Bos own Griffin Transportation. Hoezee was employed at a shipping company owned by DeKock.
The information alleges that Accurate Truck Service removed or altered the hardware components of semi-trucks that controlled the vehicles’ emissions. Diesel Freak reprogrammed the vehicles’ engine computers so that they would continue to function even after the hardware was removed or altered—sometimes referred to as “deleting” the emissions controls. Allegedly, Diesel Freak was involved in at least 362 deletions; Accurate Truck Service in at least 83 deletions; Griffin Transportation in at least 12 deletions; and DeKock’s former company in at least 4 deletions. Tampering with or removing emissions controls can drastically increase the emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and non-methane hydrocarbons found in vehicle exhaust.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Investigation Section.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.