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Trucking Company and Three Former Employees Sentenced in Clean Air Act Conspiracy

On February 23, 2024, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan sentenced Diesel Freak, LLC and ordered the business to pay a fine of $750,000 and serve a term of probation. The owner of the business, Ryan Lalone, and two employees, Wade Lalone and James Sisson, were each sentenced to 1 year of probation. Over the course of the case, the court ordered over $1.8 million in fines.

In April 2023, Diesel Freak, two other companies, Ryan and Wade Lalone, Sisson, and eight other individuals were charged for their involvement in a scheme to disable the emissions controls on hundreds of semi-trucks. 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 conducted this investigation with the Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division; Homeland Security Investigations; and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Investigation Section.