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Plant Explosion

This photo provided by Wibaux County Disaster and Emergency Services, shows an Eastern Montana oil recycling facility destroyed by an explosion and a fire, that was still burning on Dec. 31, 2012, two days after it began outside Wibaux. Three workers were injured in the explosion.

Woody's Trucking LLC and its owner, Donald Wood Jr., were found guilty of 13 of 14 federal charges Tuesday afternoon, including conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, transportation of hazardous materials without placards, transportation of hazardous materials without proper shipping papers and obstruction of justice. 

The jury, which began deliberating Tuesday morning, found the Baker company and Wood not guilty of one charge of transporting hazardous materials without placards, but guilty on three other charges of transporting hazardous materials without placards.

In February 2012, the trucking company began taking natural gas condensate, a flammable hazardous material, from eastern North Dakota to Custom Carbon Processing Inc., an oil processing plant outside Wibaux, federal prosecutors argued.

However, the company didn't update its Nebraska-based insurance company that it had begun transporting hazardous materials

The company continued shipping the natural gas condensate to the oil processing plant throughout the year, the indictment states, until an explosion at the facility on Dec. 29 injured three workers who were installing insulation inside the building. The fire burned for eight days.

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The truck driver hired by Woody's Trucking was separately convicted in 2015 for transportation of hazardous materials without a placard, a felony, and was sentenced to three years on probation and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.

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Federal prosecutors have also charged Custom Carbon Processing in a separate criminal case connected to the 2012 explosion. Earlier this year, the insurance company filed suit against Wood and his company.

The trial started last week and stretched through six days of testimony from 31 witnesses before the jury began deliberations Tuesday.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 4 at 1:30 p.m. Before Tuesday's decision by the jury, Wood faced a maximum penalty of 145 years in prison and fines totaling $3.5 million if he had been found guilty on all charges.

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