Armed EPA agents raid The Rooter Guys

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Environmental Protection Agency Special Agent Josh Allen (right) at a raid at The Rooter Guys, in Hayden.

HAYDEN - Armed personnel from the Environmental Protection Agency raided The Rooter Guys on Tracey Road Thursday morning.

"I found out that we executed a search warrant at that location," said EPA spokesman Mark MacIntyre, confirming the EPA's Criminal Enforcement Unit was armed. "If you need anything else, you will have to call the U.S. Attorney's office in Boise."

Becky Early, with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boise, confirmed that the search warrant was served, but added nobody has been charged with a crime yet.

The agents are investigating a possible illegal discharge, according Dan Redline, regional administrator of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.

"The EPA notified our attorney general's office of the investigation in Boise," Redline said, adding the state is not involved in the investigation.

Reached by telephone Thursday morning, the manager in charge of The Rooter Guys said the EPA was sifting through business records, but he was not at liberty to discuss the raid.

Jared Jasper, the foreman at Spectrum Powder Coating across the street, said several armed EPA agents showed up with Kootenai County Sheriff's Office deputies around 8:30 a.m.

"I have never seen that before," he said. "These guys were wearing bulletproof vests with 'federal agent' written across the back."

Jasper said while the agents were raiding the building, another vehicle was removing sewer caps along Tracey Avenue and taking samples.

He said it looked like the EPA was investigating some illegal dumping.

EPA Agent Josh Allen, who was at the scene Thursday, said the business was off-limits until the search was complete.

"We can not allow site access while there is an active search warrant," he said.

Todd Schaffer, an employee with The Rooter Guys, said the EPA came in and took all of the employees' names and contact information, but he wasn't interviewed.

"They just let us go back to work," he said. "We have to feed our kids, too."

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