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News / Clark County News

La Center woman who co-owns businesses in Ridgefield, Woodland convicted of 11 felony counts of violating the Clean Air Act

By Chrissy Booker, Columbian staff writer
Published: May 24, 2024, 1:01pm

The co-owner of two Clark County automotive businesses was convicted Thursday of conspiracy and 11 felony counts of violating the federal Clean Air Act, according to a statement from the United States Department of Justice.

Tracy Coiteux, 45, of La Center, co-owns Racing Performance Maintenance Northwest in Ridgefield and RPM Motors and Sales NW in Woodland.

Following a three-day trial in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, a jury convicted her of tampering with diesel trucks’ emissions monitoring systems when removing pollution control equipment between January 2018 and November 2020.

U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin H. Settle scheduled sentencing for Aug. 19.

Over three years, the two businesses tampered with approximately 375 diesel trucks and earned $538,477 for these modifications, according to the Department of Justice.

An indictment from May 2021 charged Coiteux, her husband, Sean Coiteux, and service manager, Nick Akerill, with conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act and 11 specific violations of the Clean Air Act.

Sean Coiteux pleaded guilty in March to violating the Clean Air Act and is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 13. Akerill previously pleaded guilty to state pollution charges and was sentenced to work 30 days on a Clark County work crew.

Each violation of the federal Clean Air Act is punishable by up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the news release. Conspiracy is punishable by up to five years in prison.