BATON ROUGE, LA - Acting United States Attorney Walt Green announced the indictment of another defendant in connection with a wide ranging and ongoing investigation into corruption and fraud involving compliance with federal environmental laws.
A federal grand jury has returned a thirteen-count indictment charging ROGER J. DIES, age 55, of Zachary, Louisiana, with five counts of violating the Clean Water Act, one count of scheming to falsify and conceal material facts, four counts of obstruction through the creation of false documents, one count of witness tampering, one count of obstruction of justice, one count of making false statements to a federal criminal investigator, and a forfeiture allegation. If convicted, DIES faces a maximum sentence up to 127 years in prison and over $2,000,000 in fines.
According to the indictment, DIES owned and operated Baton Rouge Tank Wash (BRTW), a business focused on washing the interior of tanks hauling chemical and food-grade loads aboard trucks. BRTW was permitted to discharge wastewater resulting from the tank washes into the municipal sewer system, subject to certain requirements and limitations.
The indictment alleges that DIES illegally discharged into the municipal sewer system approximately 6,306,660 gallons of wastewater generated by industrial processes at various offsite industrial facilities in exchange for approximately $371,000. The indictment further alleges that DIES discharged wastewater which significantly and regularly exceeded the permitted toxicity and contamination limits. According to the indictment, DIES attempted to conceal his illegal activities by creating false documents, tampering with a witness, obstructing a grand jury proceeding, and making false statements to a federal criminal investigator.
This ongoing operation is being conducted by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Criminal Investigation Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Corey R. Amundson and Alan A. Stevens.
NOTE: An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that probable cause exists to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty at trial.