Six Explo Systems Employees Indicted in Camp Minden Incident
A federal grand jury has returned a 32-count indictment that was unsealed today charging six Explo Systems officials of defrauding the federal government.
The men are also charged with committing federal offenses relating to a munitions demilitarization contract with the U.S. Army.
Charged in the case are Explo's owners, David Fincher and David Smith, Vice President of Operations William Wright, Program Manager Kennety Lampkin, Traffic and Inventory Control Manager Lionel Koons, and Director of Engineering and Environmental Control Charles Callihan.
Each official is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy. The indictment also charges multiple counts of making false statements to a federal agency or official and wire fraud.
The indictments stem from the October 15, 2012, explosion at a storate facility at Camp Minden, which contained more than 124,000 pounds of smokeless powder and a box van trailer containing more than 42,000 pounds of demilitarized M6 propellant. The clean-up of the hazardous materials continues.
"The indictment alleges that the defendants made false statements to the Army’s Joint Munitions Command (JMC) to procure and maintain the M6 demilitarization contract; caused the improper and unsafe storage of demilitarized M6 propellant and other explosive material on Explo’s Camp Minden facility; obstructed and impeded government inspections and examinations of areas of the facility where the explosive materials were improperly stored; caused third parties to sign off on EUCs as purchasers when in fact no sales had occurred; caused false EUCs containing forged and fabricated signatures to be submitted to the JMC; caused the improper storage and subsequent transportation of reactive hazardous waste to unpermitted non-hazardous waste landfills in Louisiana and Arkansas to make room for storage of M6 propellant at Camp Minden; and made false statements after the October 15, 2012 explosion to government officials and others in order to conceal their illegal conduct and prevent discovery of improperly stored M6."
"Companies tasked with the demilitarization of military grade explosives are required to properly document, safely store and dispose of these materials," said U.S. Attorney Finley in a news release. "These measures are taken to protect the public and the environment. Any business that does not honor its contract or abide by federal and state laws will be
If convicted, the defendants face five years in prison for the conspiracy count, five years for each false statement count, and 20 years for each wire fraud count. They also face a $250,000 fine and three to five years of supervised release for each count.