The primary duty of IDEM’s Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) is to investigate allegations of criminal violations of Indiana's environmental protection laws, and to prepare a case for presentation to the Prosecuting Attorney (either a county or federal prosecutor ) who has jurisdiction over the alleged violations. In some instances these investigative efforts are directed toward the presentation of a case at the federal level. If a case is accepted for filing, or for presentation to a grand jury, by the prosecuting authority, then the OCI investigators will perform any needed follow-up investigation.
Since members of the OCI staff are not law enforcement officers, they work closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement officers who assist the OCI investigators in the execution of search warrants, arrest warrants, and the research of criminal justice files.
In addition to conducting criminal investigations, the OCI investigators assist IDEM program areas in administrative and civil investigations, and provide training for IDEM personnel.
If you believe that an environmental crime has been committed, please file a complaint through one of the methods shown on the IDEM File a Compliant page. IDEM staff will investigate the complaint and determine whether OCI staff should be involved.
Criminal Investigation Successes
Tank removal contractor pled guilty for continuing unlawful discharge of tank pit water to Lamb Creek over a six-week period.
Robert Dalton was charged in Morgan County Superior Court 2 with a Class C Misdemeanor for discharging tank pit water contaminated with petroleum into Lamb Creek, near the intersection of State Road 147 and Wilbur Road. Charging information alleged that tank removal contractor Robert Dalton used a hose to pump from a tank pit into Lamb Creek while he was working on a fuel tank, beginning on March 28 through May 16, 2016, after having been told by IDEM Emergency Responders on March 28th to stop pumping into the creek. On November 3, 2016, a plea agreement was filed and a judgment was entered against Dalton, who was sentenced to 60 days. Dalton was also ordered to pay Court costs of $183 and a fine of $500.
Environmental contractor pled guilty to unlawful dumping of several drums of oil and paint
Randall Kline was charged in Morgan County with a Class B Misdemeanor for knowingly disposing of used oil on a property in Martinsville, located on Tulip Drive North, in violation of IDEM standards for management and disposal of oil. Charging information alleged that in March 2015, while cleaning up the property which had excessive amounts of trash, debris, and many 55 gallon drums and 1 and 5 gallon containers of oil and paint, Randall Kline dumped petroleum and paint directly on the ground because the drums were too heavy to move. After draining the drums of oil and paint onto the ground, Kline covered the area with leaves. Soil testing confirmed the soil was contaminated with petroleum. Randall Kline pled guilty to the charge and was sentenced to 180 days in the Morgan County Jail, 50 hours of community service which must benefit the environment, and Court costs. The contaminated soil and dumped oil and paint were later cleaned up by a different environmental contractor.