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Railroad inspector charged with lying about inspections

Last updated on May 9, 2021

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A Federal Railroad Administration inspector has been charged with lying on official documents, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.

Tremelle Sykes, 54, was indicted Tuesday on eight counts of false statements. He will make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Horan Friday morning.

According to the indictment, Mr. Sykes was employed by the FRA as a Hazardous Materials Safety Inspector 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, Mr. Sykes allegedly falsified inspection reports, claiming to have conducted inspections that never actually occurred.  The reports, filed over the course of six months in early 2019, covered railyard companies in Dallas, Fort Worth, Garland, Cleburne, Gunter, and Saginaw.

An indictment is merely an allegation of criminal conduct, not evidence. Like all defendants, Mr. Sykes is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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

The Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Bunch is prosecuting the case.

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