Shop ordered to pay $148,733 fine and will be placed on three years probation; owner to serve six months in federal prison
Portland, Ore.—A Portland area diesel repair shop and its owner pleaded guilty this week in federal court to knowingly and intentionally tampering with monitoring devices on more than 200 vehicles after removing their emissions controls in violation of the Clean Air Act.
Pure Addiction Diesel Performance, LLC, located in Hillsboro, Ore., pleaded guilty to tampering with pollution monitoring devices and was ordered to pay a fine of $148,733 to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The company was also sentenced to three years’ probation.
Pure Addiction’s owner and operator, Travis Turner, 38, a resident of Forest Grove, Ore., pleaded guilty to being an accessory to the tampering of monitoring devices and was sentenced to six months in federal prison.
“By disabling the emissions control systems of hundreds of diesel vehicles, Pure Addiction and its owner, Travis Turner, favored their own financial interests above the health and safety of our community, said Ethan Knight, Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “We will continue working closely with our partners at the EPA to ensure all businesses and business owners play by the rules.”
“The defendants installed emissions defeat equipment on hundreds of diesel trucks, resulting in substantial increases in pollution from each individual vehicle,” said Scot Adair, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) in Oregon. “EPA CID will continue to focus on stopping the usage of illegal defeat devices that contribute to serious health problems and put our communities at risk.”
According to court documents, beginning in at least 2018 and continuing through 2020, Pure Addiction tampered with and disabled the emissions control systems of approximately 245 diesel vehicles for paying customers in violation of the Clean Air Act. Pure Addiction charged its customers approximately $2,000 each for the emissions modification and collected more $400,000 in total for the unlawful services over an approximately two-year period.
As owner of Pure Addiction, Turner took action to assist the company in evading detection by federal environmental authorities by issuing, maintaining, and subsequently providing to investigators sales invoices that included inaccurate or incomplete information about the company’s illegal vehicle modifications. Forty-six of the service invoices Turner provided to investigators reflected “parts only” transactions when, in fact, those transactions included additional service work that violated the Clean Air Act.
On June 1, Pure Addiction was charged with one count of Clean Air Act tampering. In the same information, Turner was charged with one count of being an accessory after the fact to Clean Air Act tampering.