UPDATE: The owners of Minuteman Environmental released a statement this afternoon, one day after investigators raided their Milton area headquarters.
The text of the statement is as follows:
For the past eighteen months the Office of the Attorney General has been speaking to former, disgruntled employees of Minuteman Environmental Services, Inc. When we became aware of this activity, we immediately offered, through our attorney, to provide the OAG with any information they wanted. When this offer was not immediately accepted, it was repeated. Both offers were ignored.
Since there has been no wrongdoing, it is not surprising that the OAG’s investigation has disclosed no credible evidence of improper conduct.
Yesterday the OAG conducted simultaneous searches of the home of Brian Bolus, Minuteman’s corporate Headquarters and our branch office in Middletown, PA. The searches were massive; they involved dozens of agents, some in military fatigues, and most carrying weapons.
Karen Bolus, wife of Brian Bolus was handcuffed and placed on the floor next to their eight year old child. At our offices, Minuteman employees were handcuffed ordered out of the building, and forced to sit on the lawn in the heat for at least an hour. A great deal of damage was done to our offices.
However baseless the investigation, however crude the tactics, our company continues to operate as we always have - honestly. We continue to serve our customers and care for our employees. We are deeply grateful for the many expressions of support which we have received from those with whom we do business.
MILTON — Investigators from various agencies swarmed Minuteman Environmental Services’ offices in the Milton Industrial Park Wednesday morning, carting out boxes of evidence, but saying very little about why they were there.
Officers wearing shirts with logos from the state Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Environmental Protection, Internal Revenue Service and the FBI secured Minuteman offices shortly after 8 a.m. Throughout the day, investigators were checking identification and patting down people attempting to gain access to the company’s offices.
Agents loaded numerous boxes of evidence into an unmarked white truck parked behind the main Minuteman office building throughout the morning.
Several people were detained at one point, secured with zip ties as they stood near investigators.
Officers at the scene would not comment on what they were doing at the scene, only saying they would be there awhile due to an ongoing investigation.
A spokesman for the Attorney General’s office also would not release information.
“It is our long-standing policy neither to confirm nor deny our investigations are ongoing and I’ll have to leave it at that,” Dennis Fisher said.
Employees of the Milton Regional Sewer Authority were on the scene at one point, but the Authority has no information on the nature of the investigation and were merely asked to show up at the scene, according to a spokeswoman, who declined to give her name.
There was also a police presence at the East Buffalo Township home of Brian Bolus, Minuteman’s owner and president, Wednesday morning. A Buffalo Valley Regional Police said they were instructed to secure the Furnace Road property’s gate at the request of another law enforcement agency, though they would not say which agency issued the request.
Investigators also went to businesses loosely associated with Minuteman, such as MePush in Lewisburg, which runs Minuteman’s website.
“This morning some officials from the IRS visited our office and requested files and documentation for one of our clients,” Conor Quinlan, chief executive officer of the company, said. “We complied with the subpoena and supplied the requested information.”
Bolus’ father, Scranton-based businessman Bob Bolus who is appealing a 2012 conviction for insurance fraud in Lackawanna County court, said he wasn’t aware of the investigation.
Brian Bolus testified against his father at Bob Bolus’ trial in March 2012, according to the Scranton Times-Tribune newspaper.
“I learned of this situation on the news,” Bob Bolus said. “I’m not aware of anything that he is involved in and no one has spoken to me about anything. He’s a big boy and he was always taught he is no better than anyone else even if that’s what he thinks.”
It’s a stark turnaround for the Milton-based company, which in February 2012 celebrated the opening of the Industrial Park offices with Gov. Tom Corbett, who described Brian Bolus as “an American success story.”
“This is an American success story,” Corbett said. “We want to see more of that across Pennsylvania.”
Wednesday, as state and federal investigators scoured the business, a Corbett spokesman said the governor hopes “the attorney general will follow the evidence where it leads.”
Corbett spokesman Eric Shirk said he could not comment further on the investigation at Minuteman.
Shirk added, though, that prior to the governor’s visit in 2012, the business would have been vetted. So whatever investigation prompted Wednesday’s raid was not going on at that time, he said.
“The governor went there to discuss jobs and the economy,” Shirk said.
It also remains unclear what all of this means for the future of Minuteman, which has a fleet of about 200 trucks and employs about 158 people at the Milton location.
Minuteman focuses on natural-gas drilling support, supplying fluids and drilling mud to the Northern Tier and trucking away residual waste, among other tasks. Minuteman, based in the Milton Industrial Park, also operates facilities in White Deer, Loganton, Harrisburg and Cambridge, Ohio.