Railroad inspector charged with falsifying hazardous materials reports

Tremelle Sykes is charged with filing reports on inspections that never happened

By Noi Mahoney for freightwaves.com

A former Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) inspector in Texas has been charged with lying on official documents related to the transportation of hazardous materials.

Tremelle Sykes, 54, was indicted on eight counts of false statements, according to a Friday announcement from Prerak Shah, the acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

Sykes was indicted Tuesday and made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Horan on Friday.

Sykes was employed by the FRA as a hazardous materials safety inspector. He was assigned to inspect northeast Texas railroads and shippers for compliance with regulations pertaining to the transport of hazardous materials such as ethanol, crude oil and other toxic or poisonous substances.

On at least eight occasions, Sykes allegedly falsified inspection reports, claiming to have conducted inspections that never actually occurred, according to court documents. 

The reports, filed over the course of six months in early 2019, covered railyard companies in Dallas, Fort Worth, Garland, Cleburne, Gunter and Saginaw.

If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in federal prison.

Updated: May 11, 2021 — 2:29 PM

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