Three of the five Pennsylvania men who were charged in May for disabling emissions control devices on trucks have pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States and violate the Clean Air Act.
Gavin Rexer, Dennis Paulhamus and Timothy Sweitzer each pleaded guilty to charges related to a scheme to defraud the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Paulhamus is the owner of DJ Paulhamus Trucking; Sweitzer is the owner of Sweitzer’s Garage; Rexer is one an employee at water and wastewater transportation company Rockwater Northeast.
According to OIG, the men “conspired to illicitly disable the Rockwater Northeast CMVs’ emissions control devices.” OIG adds that the accused removed the stock exhaust systems and replaced them with straight pipes or hollowed out the emissions exhaust components by removing environmental filters and elements.
Additionally, the men allegedly disabled and manipulated the trucks’ onboard diagnostics with high-tech “defeat” devices obtained from Paulhamus and Sweitzer, then concealed the purchases in Rockwater’s books and records by mislabeling them as “exhaust systems.” OIG says the men also indicated that the illegally modified trucks had passed inspections at Sweitzer’s Garage, which is an inspection station certified by the Pennsylvania DOT.