United States v. Aghorn Operating, Inc., Trent Day, and Kodiak Roustabout, Inc.
The United States charged Aghorn Operating, Inc. (Aghorn), Trent Day, and Kodiak Roustabout, Inc. with violations of Federal law in an indictment filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas on March 3, 2022. The indictment includes alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act as well as obstructing a Federal proceeding and making false statements. You can read the full Indictment below.
The Clean Air Act charges include allegations that defendants Aghorn and Trent Day knowingly caused the release of the extremely hazardous substance hydrogen sulfide, also known as H2S, from the Foster D Waterflood Station (Station), which is located at 2216 W. 49th St. in Odessa. The Indictment alleges that these defendants violated their general duty to prevent the accidental release of H2S, by failing to design and maintain a safe facility, to take such steps as are necessary to prevent releases, and to minimize the consequences of accidental releases which do occur. These alleged releases of H2S may have reached individuals and properties surrounding the Station. Further, Defendants Aghorn, Trent Day, and Kodiak Roustabout, Inc. are accused of failing to perform and/or falsifying well pressure tests at various well sites throughout the Midland/Odessa area, in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Please keep in mind that these are just allegations at this point and must be proved, in court, beyond a reasonable doubt. Until that happens, each of the named defendants is presumed to be innocent.
Information About Restitution, Victim Services, and Victim Rights
A victim of a crime under federal investigation is entitled to services under the Victims' Rights and Restitution Act (VRRA), including notification of court events. For further details, please refer to 42 U.S.C. § 10607 or the VRRA link posted at www.notify.usdoj.gov.
In addition, because charges have been filed in this case in federal court, victims are also entitled to the following rights, according to the Crime Victims' Rights Act (CVRA), Title 18, United States Code, Section 3771:
(1) The right to be reasonably protected from the accused;
(2) The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused;
(3) The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding;
(4) The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding;
(5) The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case;
(6) The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law;
(7) The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay;
(8) The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy;
(9) The right to be informed in a timely manner of any plea bargain or deferred prosecution agreement; and
(10) The right to be informed of the rights under this section and the services described in section 503(c) of the Victims' Rights and Restitution Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 10607(c)) and provided contact information for the Office of the Victims' Rights Ombudsman of the Department of Justice.
Please understand that these rights apply only to victims of the counts charged in federal court, and thus you may not be able to exercise all of these rights if the crime of which you are a victim was not charged or if a court determines that you are not a victim of the charged crimes. We will make our best efforts to ensure you are provided the rights and services to which you are entitled. You may contact the United States Department of Justice, Environmental Crimes Section at 1-833-676-1816 or via email at email@example.com if you believe you are a victim of the crimes charged in the Indictment and have questions about your rights or the case; services to which you may be entitled; or how you can assert those rights during the proceedings. If you believe that a Justice Department employee has not provided you with these rights, you may file a complaint with the Justice Department’s Victims’ Rights Ombudsman. For more information, go to Crime Victims' Rights Ombudsman. If you have questions about filing a complaint against an employee, you may contact the Ombudsman by email at usaeo.VictimOmbudsman@usdoj.gov. Questions concerning this case should be directed to office listed above.
NOTE: Our office cannot act as your attorney or provide you with legal advice, you can seek the advice of an attorney with respect to the possibility that you might be a victim, the rights described above, or other related legal matters.
Additionally, please be aware that criminal cases can be resolved by a plea agreement between the United States Department of Justice and the defendant. If you want to inform the prosecutor of your views regarding potential plea agreements, or any other aspect of the case, please contact the Environmental Crimes Section by one of the means described above, and you will be put in touch with the prosecutors handling this case.
Updates on the proceedings and notices of hearing open to the public will be published on this website. Unless you have received a subpoena to attend as a witness, your attendance at any hearing is not required. Further, due of the Court’s schedule, hearing dates could change on very short notice. If you plan to attend a hearing, you may want to call or email the Environmental Crimes Section to confirm the date and time.
If you wish to submit any written materials, including a Victim Impact Statement, please provide such documentation to the following email address: CrimeVictimProgram.ENRD@usdoj.gov. You are free, though not required, to complete and return the statement. You may be provided restitution by the Court, but there is no guarantee.
Publicly available court records can be accessed by using the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system, or by contacting the Clerk’s Office for the United States District Court, Western District of Texas, 200 East Wall, Room 222, Midland, Texas 79701.