Resident used job to violate Clean Air Act
A Monroe resident was one of five men who pled guilty Thursday, July 14 to violating the Clean Air Act. 24-year-old Alexander Christian Edwards of Monroe was chrged with using a device to bypass vehicle emissions inspections. Also charged were Charlotte residents Stephen Craig Dickinson, 27, Thanh Long Quoc, 32 and 37-year-old Chuck Yee Cheung, along with 24-year-old Concord resident Jin Sung Chang, who was additionally charged with making false statements to investigators. All five pled guilty in U.S. Criminal Court.
“Vehicle inspections are required, in part, to ensure that our air quality is protected,” U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins said. “Schemes such as the one perpetrated by the defendants put public health at risk. This office is committed to prosecuting those who violate the federal laws designed to protect the health of our citizens.”
According to court documents, Edwards, Dickinson and Chang were all employed at a Charlotte car dealership in 2010. The defendants bought a device they used to bypass the onboard diagnostics system used in state inspections. The three pled guilty to providing fake passing results for multiple vehicles that had a “check engine” light on. Each of the vehicle owners then paid the men more than a usual state inspection. The other two defendants worked at a used car dealership and communicated with one of the dealership employees via text message, asking him to provide some fake emissions inspections for some vehicles on the lot.
All five face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine each.