Bethell faces criminal charges

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The owner of a solid-waste treatment plant west of Craig faces criminal charges of forgery and attempt to influence a public official.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says that Phillip Bethell, owner of Elk Springs Recycle and Recovery, forged sampling reports he submitted to the department.

Elk Springs Recycle and Recovery treats solid waste produced by the oil and gas industry. State law requires the facility to randomly test the waste as it is unloaded from delivery trucks.

The CODPHE alleges that since 2001, Bethel has forged the truck analysis reports that he submitted to the department.

The reports are written on letterhead from Beuerman and Associates of Butte, Mont., and were submitted from 2001 to 2004. The laboratory closed in 1999.

According to reports filed by Vicki Barber, a criminal investigator for the Colorado Attorney General's Office, the font on Beuerman's and Elk Springs Recycle and Recovery's letterhead matches.

Bethell denied forging the reports during a telephone interview Wednesday.

"If I had any inkling or suspicion it was phony, I wouldn't have sent it," Bethell said.

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