- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 12, 2017

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Sentencing is set this summer for men from Texas and Montana who pleaded guilty in a North Dakota case of illegal oil field wastewater dumping.

Authorities say 43-year-old Jason Halek, of Southlake, Texas, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Bismarck to three counts of violating the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

His co-defendant, Nathan Garber, of Kalispell, Montana, pleaded guilty in September 2014 to multiple charges related to the illegal operation of a saltwater disposal well near Dickinson.

Saltwater is a byproduct of oil production and can harm the environment if not handled properly.

The criminal charges against Halek are connected to a state case against Halek Operating ND LLC, which was fined a state-record $1.5 million in 2013.

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