MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas and New York State Department of Environmental Commissioner Basil Seggos announced that a Valley Stream man has been arrested for allegedly dumping 80,000 pounds of construction debris on the side of a road in Uniondale.
Jose Napolean Cruz Maltez, 39, and his company L&J Stucco were arraigned today before Judge Paul Meli on charges of:
- Criminal Mischief in the First Degree (a D felony)
- Solid Waste Management Facilities (Prohibited Disposal) (a B misdemeanor)
- Solid Waste Management Facilities (Construction and Demolition Debris Processing Facilities) (a B misdemeanor).
- Putting noisome or unwholesome substances or maintaining noisome business on or near a highway (an unclassified misdemeanor)
The defendant was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court August 17. If convicted, he faces 2-1/3 to 7 years in prison. The corporation’s case was set for the same date.
“This defendant is charged with illegally dumping massive quantities of construction debris over a large area of public land in Nassau County,” said District Attorney Singas. “Long Island’s natural beauty is a treasure that we must vigorously protect, and I am grateful to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the State Department of Transportation for bringing us this case.”
“Illegal dumping is a serious issue, and through Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the state is cracking down on those who fail to properly dispose of construction and demolition debris and threaten public health and our natural resources,” said Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos. “This case sends a clear message that polluters will be brought to justice, and I commend the work of our DEC officers and the Nassau District Attorney’s office for prosecuting this illegal act.”
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said, “Dumping garbage along the road creates a dangerous health hazard for people and the environment, as well as a massive expense for taxpayers; the Department of Transportation last year removed 24,000 garbage bags of litter from Long Island roads at a cost of $4.6 million. We look forward to working with the Department of Environmental Conservation and District Attorney Singas in the future to show that illegal dumping along Long Island roads will not be tolerated.”
DA Singas said on April 24, 2017, the Department of Transportation contacted the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation regarding the illegal dumping of construction and demolition debris found on vacant land along the south side of Jerusalem Avenue, bordered to the west by the Meadowbrook State Parkway, in Uniondale. DEC investigators responded to the location and found four piles of debris weighing 80,000 pounds and measuring approximately 106' in length by 9' in width by 5' in height.
An investigation by DEC traced the debris back to a residential address in Forest Hills, Queens where demolition was occurring. The investigation also revealed the company completing the construction and demolition at the site had hired the defendant who is the owner of L&J Stucco, to haul away their waste from the site. The company also paid L&J Stucco for the cost of disposal at an authorized facility in addition to L&J Stucco’s fee.
Illegal dumping can contaminate not only the dumping site requiring costly cleanup, but harmful contaminants can seep into the water table below as well. The Department of Transportation estimates that cleanup costs for this site will total approximately $15,000.
If you witness an environmental crime, contact the NYSDEC 24-hour Poacher and Polluter hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).
Assistant District Attorney Erin Satterthwaite of DA Singas’ Environmental Crimes Unit is prosecuting this case. Maltez is represented by Irwin Klein, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.