Posted: Mar 24, 2014 11:09 PM by Trey Schmaltz
Updated: Mar 25, 2014 6:47 AM
BATON ROUGE- More people were arrested in a DEQ bust involving fraudulent vehicle inspections.
In all, seven people have been charged for knowingly filing or maintaining false public records, the Department of Environmental Quality said Monday. The arrests came from three separate businesses in Baton Rouge and Gonzales.
Yolande Ledet, 44, Chad Ledet, 41, Duc "Michael" Nguyen, 24, Canh Nguyen, 48, Haytham Amous, 48, Jerry Franklin, 34, and Michael Edwards, 38 face various charges related to the vehicle emissions program and the state investigation.
Investigators said the group participated in various schemes to pass vehicles for emissions testing. One of the schemes involved manually changing vehicle weights in the computer system so that their weights were listed at more than 10,000 pounds. Another scheme involved using data from a vehicle that was known to pass the emissions test and then manually switching the vehicle identification information with the vehicle that failed the emissions test. Under each scheme, the false information was then submitted electronically to DEQ.
The arrests happened at Terry's Exxon in Ascension Parish, Mudiea's Car Care in Baton Rouge and Franklin's Auto, also in Baton Rouge.
An eight person, Hoc D. Nguyen, will face charges once he returns from overseas. He faces 69 counts of filing false public documents.
Multiple agencies assisted in the investigation and arrests.
Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz