OHIO: Truck Emissions Defeat Device Installer Imprisoned

Cincy diesel truck shop

CINNCINATI, Ohio, May 19, 2024 (ENS) – Bypassing a vehicle’s emissions components can increase airborne particulate matter up to 40 times, nitrogen oxides 310 times, carbon monoxide 120 times, and non-methane hydrocarbons 1,100 times, a range of recent peer-reviewed research papers and books has shown.

A Hamilton County, Ohio man operating a diesel truck repair and maintenance shop in the village of Cleves, a western suburb of Cincinnati, learned these facts the hard way this week.

Davis Owens, 34, of Cleves, was sentenced to serve 30 days in prison, seven months of home confinement and one year of supervised release.

It was Owens’ second offense. He had previously pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting the tampering of a monitoring device required under the Clean Air Act.

Owens was the co-owner of Holderdown Performance, an online diesel parts and accessories store, and owner of Cincy Diesel Performance, a full-service diesel shop that specializes in maintaining and servicing Powerstroke diesel engines, court documents show.

Back in 2020, Owens entered a Consent Agreement and Final Order with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding allegations that he and Holderdown had knowingly worked to bypass or “defeat” components that controlled emissions on heavy duty diesel truck engines.

Owens paid a $7,500 civil penalty as part of the Consent Agreement and agreed that neither he nor Cincy Diesel Performance would manufacture, sell or install defeat devices.

But investigation by the EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations revealed that Owens and Cincy Diesel Performance continued to sell and install defeat devices as well as emissions deleting computer software until February 2022.

Senior Trial Attorney Adam Cullman of the U.S. Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Environmental Crimes Section prosecuted the case.

Featured image: A view of a portion of the shop floor at Cincy Diesel Performance, David Owens’ diesel truck engine maintenance and service business, April 1, 2020 (Photo courtesy Cincy Diesel Performance via Facebook)

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