Dec 28, 2000

Three Florida Men Sentenced in Hazardous Waste Case

Ralph G. Dearden of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and German Delgado of Hialeah, Fla., were sentenced on Aug. 18, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami for conspiracy to violate the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

In addition, Dearden also was sentenced on two counts of illegally disposing of hazardous waste under RCRA. Dearden was sentenced to two years in prison, was ordered to pay $117,800 in fines and restitution and was ordered to serve three years probation after release.

Delgado was sentenced to four months in prison, three years probation and approximately $400 in fines. According to the indictment and evidence presented at trial, Dearden owned and operated D&B Paint Manufacturing Co., in Fort Lauderdale. From the 1970s until 1995 when D&B stopped operations, it generated a variety of hazardous wastes during manufacturing.

The defendants conspired to dispose of 40 55-gallon drums of these wastes which were dumped near the Everglades National Park. The wastes included mercury, benzene, lead, methyl ethyl ketone, trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene.

Benzene is a known cause of cancer and exposure to sufficient quantities of lead and mercury can cause neurological disorders. The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management's Environmental Crime Unit and the Florida Marine Patrol.

The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida in Miami.

SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency