Gettysburg man arrested on felony disposal charge

May 02, 1994|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Sun Staff Writer

A Gettysburg, Pa., man, arrested on a felony hazardous waste charge in Westminster last week, apparently is an illegal alien, city police said.

Vicente Salazar Cernas, 24, is being held at the Carroll County Detention Center in lieu of $25,000 bond on a felony charge of hazardous waste disposal.

During his arrest, Mr. Cernas produced a green card to identify himself, said Lt. Randy Barnes, a city police spokesman.

The officers suspected that the card was bogus because its photo had been pasted on haphazardly, he said.

U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service officials are trying to determine how Mr. Cernas got into the country from Mexico and how he obtained the resident alien card, Lieutenant Barnes said.

Mr. Cernas was arrested about 8:10 a.m. Wednesday near South Charles at Bishop streets after a resident called police and reported seeing a man draining antifreeze from an automobile into a storm drain.

Officers said in their report that they received a complaint from a resident that the driver of an automobile had parked his vehicle near the storm drain, opened the petcock on the radiator and allowed the antifreeze to drain.

After the man refilled the radiator with a new supply of coolant, the rest of the container was dumped into the storm drain, police were told.

Police notified city workers, who retrieved the ethylene-glycol coolant from the storm drain by using an absorbent.

A Maryland Department of the Environment Spill Response Team also responded to the call.

Antifreeze is a controlled hazardous substance and cannot be disposed of in a storm drain.

Police said a conviction on the felony hazardous waste disposal charge carries a sentence of five years in state prison and a $100,000 fine.

Mr. Cernas also was charged with a misdemeanor count of littering.

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