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Archive for Friday, January 14, 2011

MagnaGro owner Raymond Sawyer arrested, but federal prosecutors decline to explain why

January 14, 2011

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The owner of MagnaGro International, a Lawrence-based agricultural fertilizer company that has caught the ire of federal agencies and the city, was arrested Friday afternoon on a federal warrant.

According to Douglas County Jail records, Raymond Glen Sawyer, 59, was booked into the Douglas County Jail just before noon on a federal hold warrant without bond. But federal officials said they could not comment on the arrest.

According to federal court records, U.S. District Judge Julie A. Robinson on Wednesday filed a sealed order in the 2008 case against Sawyer and the company, 600 E. 22nd St., that had been closed since July of 2010.

In that case, Sawyer pleaded guilty in 2009 to discharging waste from a fertilizer operation into the city’s sewer system. He received five years of probation, and Sawyer and the company had to pay a $240,000 fine.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said Friday afternoon he could not comment on matters that have been sealed by a federal judge.

In October, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a civil complaint and compliance order against MagnaGro for failing to tell the agency what hazardous wastes were on the site.

In April of last year two men suffocated when they were overcome by fumes from a material being mixed at the site. City officials later declared the site “unfit for human occupancy” and boarded the doors.

Comments

Steve Jacob 3 years, 11 months ago

So does this mean they are holding him without charging him AND no chance of bail until TUESDAY? Just sounds wrong, and the timing was on purpose.

dingocat 3 years, 11 months ago

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RKLOG 3 years, 11 months ago

Maybe you should put the pitchfork away and pull up a chair yourself. Nobody knows what he has done yet.

LadyJ 3 years, 11 months ago

Sorry for your loss dingocat and the circumstances that caused it.

puddleglum 3 years, 11 months ago

ah yes, the ol' all-weekend-long trick, also deployed by the city's water department. Heard alot of stories about people coming home on friday night with their water shut off-so they have to wait til monday to get it turned back on...gas company does the same, always a crowd-pleaser.....Numerous times have I had people inquire if this was a legal move. It is. low, but legal.

dingocat 3 years, 11 months ago

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puddleglum 3 years, 11 months ago

"low move " was in reference to utility companies' usage.
When the law enforcement uses it, it is know as: the law

hurray2 3 years, 11 months ago

It's about time the Feds come down on that man. Prison is where he needs to be and I don't know why it took them so long.

hurray2 3 years, 11 months ago

Hope they lock him up for the rest of his life and throw away the keys.

MarchSadness 3 years, 11 months ago

What a worthless piece of crap. He could care less about the men who died at his factory, could care less about pumping waste into our sewer system, and he is one of the most selfish individuals I've ever met. The man drives around town in his Excursion and looks down upon everyone. Good for the Feds. Lock up Sawyer for life!

John Hamm 3 years, 11 months ago

Wow! For such a "liberal" town sure seems to be a number of people who wish to forget about "due process."

RogueThrill 3 years, 11 months ago

And who believe prison rape is a valid form of punishment.

RKLOG 3 years, 11 months ago

Just drive around town for a few hours and see how 'liberal' we are. Lawrence has more cranky libertarians than liberals, by a long shot.

notanoobhere 3 years, 11 months ago

Not everyone in this town is a idiot, this guy should fry for the crimes he has committed. By Idiot I mean liberal for all you idiots out there.

somebodynew 3 years, 11 months ago

What you people are missing is that they HAVE charged him - they are just choosing to not tell us. That is why it is a "sealed" indictment. The Federal Judge decided that it was significant enough to keep it sealed until he appears in court.

Now, you can argue the virtues of that, but he has been charged. It is not like they just picked him up because they wanted to and threw him in jail - although with all he has done that might not be a bad idea.

It is interesting to me that the Judge would seal this. Makes me think there is more to come.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 11 months ago

If he's in jail for violating the terms of his probation, he may not get bail at all.

hurray2 3 years, 11 months ago

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hurray2 3 years, 11 months ago

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Bob Forer 3 years, 11 months ago

You and hurray2 seem to be of like mind on this.

hurray2 3 years, 11 months ago

Mr. Sawyer should have been thrown in a hole years ago. He has been charged and charged for offenses and walked away just like he always has done believing he is God and can do anything it wants. But maybe this time they have what they need to put him away for good. Sure hope so...

hurray2 3 years, 11 months ago

And yes I do refer to him as an "IT" because he doesn't deserve to be called a "MAN".

BruceWayne 3 years, 11 months ago

let us not forget that Coreless and Amyx KNEW he was violating tons of city codes and did nothing. the blood is on their hands as well.

Yenta 3 years, 11 months ago

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sgtmag 3 years, 11 months ago

I worked for Mr Sawyer and knew that everything in his plant, no matter how " harmless" had the potetial of being hazardous if not treated with respect. This was briefed to me day one of working at Magnagro. Further more of the men that died at Magnagro one was a close friend of Ray and his family. The accident at Magnagro was tragic and was not only hard on the families of those that passed away but also the Sawyer family. Their deaths could have been avaoided if the deceased had followed the proper protocol prior to entering the tank. The young man that passed away first was a temp worker and had no business entering the tank without a senior employees supervision. As far as illegal dumping of hazardous materials I have never been witness to anything of the sort. Mpst of the people that have made comments on Mr. Sawyers arrest are speaking of only what they have heard from the JW ,which in my opinion is little more than a street rag publication. You all need to ask and get your facts straight prior to lighting the torches and storming the castle. This is just another case of Lawrence Kansas attacking a small business owner.

auturgy 3 years, 11 months ago

I hate to argue your point, but did you read this article?

ELEVEN safety violations on the day that two men were killed. Those are from OSHA, not the LJWorld.

He has also been CONVICTED of EPA violations, including illegal dumping, and the site was running without water or sewage since 2007. That to me smells more than fishy.

hurray2 3 years, 11 months ago

He was also ordered by Osha, not the LJWorld to put in wash stations and showers for his employees back in 2007. Did he do it? Absolutely NOT. Reason being is that he didn't care that his employees hands were eaten up by the so called good healthy chemicals that he used, due to the fact that Mr. Sawyer did not provide gloves, masks or anything else for the protection of his employees. I completely agree with auturgy, Mr. Sawyer plead guilty because he knows what he has done and it's really sad that people had to lose their lives because of this so called good business owner as you call him.

auturgy 3 years, 11 months ago

Additionally, Ray Sawyer plead GUILTY to illegal dumping. So, whether or not you witnessed it, it apparently happened.

http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/criminal/highlights/2009/sawyer-raymond-02-24-09.pdf

sgtmag 3 years, 11 months ago

I worked for Mr Sawyer and knew that everything in his plant, no matter how " harmless" had the potetial of being hazardous if not treated with respect. This was briefed to me day one of working at Magnagro. Further more of the men that died at Magnagro one was a close friend of Ray and his family. The accident at Magnagro was tragic and was not only hard on the families of those that passed away but also the Sawyer family. Their deaths could have been avaoided if the deceased had followed the proper protocol prior to entering the tank. The young man that passed away first was a temp worker and had no business entering the tank without a senior employees supervision. As far as illegal dumping of hazardous materials I have never been witness to anything of the sort. Mpst of the people that have made comments on Mr. Sawyers arrest are speaking of only what they have heard from the JW ,which in my opinion is little more than a street rag publication. You all need to ask and get your facts straight prior to lighting the torches and storming the castle. This is just another case of Lawrence Kansas attacking a small business owner.

hurray2 3 years, 11 months ago

And I also worked for your wonderful Mr. Sawyer as you call him.

hurray2 3 years, 11 months ago

And there was no proper protocol. It was Ray's way or the highway.

hurray2 3 years, 11 months ago

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hurray2 3 years, 11 months ago

The residents of Lawrence, Kansas have all the rights in the world to attack this business owner. He should have been run out of Lawrence years ago. He used every person he hired for his own benefit. Go back and research a little more and you will find that he even dumped his waste in a farmers pond and the pond turned completely black and all the fish died. And did he care NO....he ignored the request from the farmer for an explanation and the clean up request. I seen the hose stuffed down in the toilet disposing waste in the sewer system. I witnessed Roy and many other employees being forced to go down inside those tanks with no protection. So did Ray care about his best friend...NOT AT ALL!!

smarterthanheis 3 years, 4 months ago

Well he got what he deserved but unfortunately not long enough. Maybe we should all write the federal inmate a letter and tell him how much we miss him! Wouldn't that just make his day?

Guess he got a little mouthy here in Kansas, so they shipped him out.

Inmate Raymond Sawyer #15457-031 FTC OKLAHOMA CITY FEDERAL TRANSFER CENTER P.O. BOX 898801 OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 73189

tonycash1 2 years, 3 months ago

Hi...... im a friend of the victim, did any body know if this man, if we can call him man is it still in prison or not?

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