John Tracy from 3J Towing asked if he could share his story through our platform.  Being that he is a fellow tax paying local business owner, I heartily agreed. Read Part 1 here.  Here is Part 2 of his story:


“The lady wanting the contents of the car had no proof of ownership to the car so she couldn’t receive the contents. Deputy March served one of my drivers a court order for the contents the morning of October 24th while I was out of state at a meeting which I explained to him via phone. My wife and I are the sole partners of 3J Oil Medics, LLC. It should have only been served to one of us. The driver took the order back and handed it to Lamphere and told him that they do not have the authority to carry out the order, which they do not. Notice the termination letter was written the same day as the paper service. Via due process, we have 30 days after summons to provide a letter to the judge and opposing counsel stating our reasons and then a court date is issued. We still have no court date, therefore we were not in violation as we haven’t been to court yet nor have we been found guilty of any wrongdoing other than with Lamphere. What he has done is not only wrong but also illegal, unconstitutional and unethical. He has been searching for a reason to terminate our company for years. He suspended us in late 2014/2015 for damaging vehicles and charging exorbitant fees. We were charging what Demos’ Towing had been charging for 20 plus years and we have zero damage claims which we can absolutely prove. After proving that we had done nothing wrong, we were also able to prove that PTR (Plains Towing and Recovery) had actually done all of this and more but nothing was ever done to them over it. They continued to operate for two or more years even though their operating authority had been revoked in the United States. They have had six wrecks that I’m aware of and one of their guys received a DUI in one of their trucks not more than two years ago and somehow nothing is recorded with the FMCSA and it is required to be there. They have driven into our crash scenes, gotten our customers into their trucks and badmouthed our drivers and our company. One of their guys threatened me and my driver of bodily harm and injury if my driver showed up to a call where we had been prepaid and forced the customer to use him and held her vehicle hostage for payment which was almost three times what we had charged. Lamphere knows about everything and refuses to do anything about any of it. He claims that he cannot control how a business operates, which is true until it’s our company.

The thing that needs said sooner than later is that, in my opinion, he is purposely and willfully assisting PTR in obtaining a monopoly. I was told by March that if anyone left the rotation for any reason they would stay with the one left and that’s that. No one will ever be allowed to participate in the rotation with said company, ever again. So it’s not a rotation! They are depriving the motorists and citizens of Butte County their God given right to choose who tows their vehicles in a wreck, arrest, or any time law enforcement is involved. This includes Highway Patrol and the Belle Fourche PD. There are anti-steering laws that prohibit this kind of behavior and it’s very much prohibited by law in all 50 states. PTR already has 5 or 6 complete monopolies: Harding County, Perkins County, Crook County, WY, Carter County, MT, Powder River, MT to name some. They charge motorists whatever they feel like charging because the competition has been eliminated. I’ve seen bills for $10k and up for cars! I’ve had more people than not tell me that they weren’t able to get anything from a vehicle even when they were the registered owner of the vehicle and PTR took their vehicle to impound despite the owners wishes of taking it home or to a shop they chose. Legally, they cannot do any of these things. They already charge by the hour starting when the phone rings. Most light duty in town calls are $400 minimum in town because they dink around. We had a group of girls hit the neighbors pickup Halloween evening and it rolled onto its top in front of our driveway. It took them over two hours to flip it and load it, which is only a 5-10 minute deal. This is what Fred and March are fighting so hard for by removing our company and it’s wrong on so many levels.  From what I’ve observed and personally experienced, Lamphere, March and PTR have violated the Sherman Anti Trust Act and 5 SDCL’s concerning monopolies just for starters.”

Stay tuned! More articles coming that will include Sheriff Lamphere’s statement and what we’ve found with our research.