United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: DAVILYN WALSTON
WEDNESDAY, MAY 7, 2008 PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe CELL: (409) 553-9881
KIRBYVILLE FAMILY INDICTED FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES
IN THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
BEAUMONT, TX—United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced that a federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging a Kirbyville man and his father with environmental crimes in the Eastern District of Texas.
SIMPLY AQUATICS, INC., its president, KEVIN WAYNE HESTER, 34, and his father, LYLE HESTER, 59, all of Kirbyville, were indicted today for Unlawfully Transporting and Disposing of Hazardous Wastes. The indictment alleges that over a period of time the defendants directed others to wash out drums containing hazardous chemicals out onto the ground at their shop facility located in Kirbyville. The indictment goes on to allege that in May of 2006 the defendants transported 33 compressed gas cylinders under high pressure, which contained a combined total of 952 lbs. of chlorine gas, without the proper manifest and without a permit. The indictment further alleges that the defendants unlawfully disposed of the 33 compressed chlorine gas cylinders by burying them at Kevin Wayne Hester's residential and ranching property also located in Kirbyville. If convicted, the defendants each face up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.00.
This case is being investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigations Division, Region 6, Dallas, Texas, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Litigation Division, Region 5, Tyler, Texas, and the Texas Environmental Enforcement Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by AUSA Jim Noble in Tyler, Texas.
It is important to note that an indictment should not be considered as evidence of guilt and that all persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
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