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Man who illegally disposed of radioactive waste added to EPA’s list of Criminal Fugitives

Contact Information: 
Richard Mylott (mylott.richard@epa.gov)

DENVER — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added James Kenneth Ward to its list of criminal fugitives. Ward, 55, was indicted on April 5, 2017, in federal district court in Montana and escaped custody of local officials during a prison transport in Wyoming in March 2013. Ward is wanted on federal fraud charges connected with illegal disposal of radioactive waste in several North Dakota locations.

Ward should be considered violent and dangerous. Anyone who sees Ward should not attempt to apprehend him, but should report the sighting through the EPA fugitive website or contact the EPA criminal investigation division at (303) 312-6458.

In 2011, Ward entered into a contract with a company called Zenith Produced Water to properly dispose of filter bags or “filter socks,” which can contain pollutants and radioactive substances resulting from the drilling and development of oil. These pollutants and radioactive substances can be damaging to the environment and public health if discharged to ground water, surface water or on land. During the period of the contract with Zenith, Ward did not legally and properly dispose of the filter socks, but instead left the filter socks at a former gas station located in Noonan, North Dakota.

Ward was already a fugitive, returned to the U.S. from Mexico to face state larceny charges when he escaped.

For more information on EPA’s fugitive website: https://www.epa.gov/fugitives

For more information on EPA’s criminal enforcement program: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/criminal-enforcement