American-Tribune (copy)

The Oklahoma Environmental Crime Investigators Association (OECIA) will be debuting a website soon on which citizens can report illegal dumping issues, it was announced recently.

The OECIA will also have a Facebook page that provides information to the public about illegal dumping and other environmental crimes. You will be able to read the successful stories from various officers around the state that are fighting diligently to keep Oklahoma beautiful. With the addition of this new Association, law enforcement will have another tool to use in the fight against environmental crimes.

The OECIA was incorporated earlier this year by three deputy sheriffs who are assigned to investigate illegal dumping and other environmental crimes in Oklahoma. The Association is announcing that charter membership is now available to any law enforcement officer, prosecutor, or other person whose duties involve investigating or prosecuting environmental crimes. Michael Freeman, an Investigator with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality was chosen to serve as the Association’s first President. Shaun Copelin, an Environmental Deputy with the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, was chosen to serve as the Association’s first Vice-President.

“Over the last couple of decades, we’ve realized that certain activities that intentionally pollute our state deserve more than just what regulatory enforcement attempts to accomplish,” Investigator Freeman said. “As the criminal prosecution of environmental violators has increased, the number of investigators dedicated to pursuing those violations has increased as well. This Association was formed to facilitate the detection, investigation, and prosecution of environmental crimes, and by doing so to efficiently and effectively ensure compliance with our environmental laws.

“The vast majority of Oklahomans are proud of our state and take a dim view of those who pollute it either for profit or merely out of laziness. We want to preserve our state’s natural resources and make Oklahoma a better place for everyone to live.”

For more information about OECIA or to request membership please contact President Freeman at or P.O. Box 91 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73101.