Investigation into illegal dumping site leads to arrests

Three men are charged with adding to pile in city

August 07, 2004|By Matt Whittaker | Matt Whittaker,SUN STAFF

Two brothers were charged yesterday with dumping more than 100 pounds of garbage on a vacant city-owned lot that had become an illegal dumping ground over the past eight to 10 months, city officials said.

John Burns Williams, 47, of the 3200 block of Doycron Court in Baltimore County and Curtis Lee Williams, 49, of the 1000 block of 43rd St. in Baltimore were charged yesterday after an investigation by the city's environmental crimes unit.

The unit responded about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday to a call about the site in the 100 block of N. Calverton Road. Investigators found a 13-year-old using an earth-mover to dump tree trimmings and fragments of cement blocks onto piles of other trash along about 300 yards of the road, said Eric Banks, an investigator for the unit.

The youth was allegedly acting under direction from the Williams brothers, said Gerald Ruffin, a unit detective. The juvenile was not charged.

The Williams brothers were charged with illegal dumping, and causing and permitting illegal dumping. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $10,000 fine, Ruffin said.

While investigators were at the site in West Baltimore on Tuesday, another man was seen dumping trash.

The man pulled up in a car and dumped a bicycle and bicycle parts, Banks said. Fred Miller Jr., 40, of Parkville was arrested and charged with illegal dumping, and his car was towed. If found guilty, he faces up to 30 days in jail and a $100 fine for dumping less than 100 pounds, said Robert E. Guye, a compliance manager with the environmental crimes unit.

Thomas Lewis, an operations manager at Cherry Hill Towing & Transport Inc. across the street from the site, called the unit Tuesday morning to report the dumping.

A path had been cut through a grassy area of the lot, and 80-ton dump trucks have carted debris to the area, Lewis said.

Other items at the site included a plastic tarp, a wooden loading crate, a couch, a broken television, large chunks of concrete, mattresses, hoses, toys, drywall and broken glass.

Investigators also found a gray, fibrous material that they suspected to be asbestos, but testing by the Maryland Department of the Environment revealed that it was insulation material known as "glass wool," said Richard J. McIntire, MDE spokesman.

The city's Department of Public Works began clearing the lot Wednesday and finished yesterday, said public works spokesman Robert H. Murrow.

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