Waste Hauler Pleads Guilty, Sentenced in Connection with Illegal Disposal of Solid Waste
Defendant Dumped Waste from Lowell at an Unauthorized Site in Waltham
WOBURN — A Newton man has pled guilty in connection with improperly disposing of solid waste from the City of Lowell at an illegal dumping site, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
Charles Garabedian, age 63, pled guilty in Middlesex Superior Court on the charge of violating the Solid Waste Act (2 counts).
“While the defendant was hired and instructed to properly dispose of waste, he violated environmental regulations and posed public health and safety risks by dumping the material at an unauthorized site,” said AG Coakley. “These types of actions need to be taken seriously and our office will continue to hold accountable those, like this defendant, who violate environmental laws and put the public at risk.”
“When any municipality hires a contractor to perform a job, such as keeping roadways clear of debris, they have the right to trust that the contractor will comply with all applicable laws and do the job right,” said Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). “The defendant in this case cut corners, and in doing so not only failed to hold up his end of the bargain, but posed a threat to the environment. Working together with local officials, the Strike Force caught the scofflaw and sent the message that it pays to do it right.”
Garabedian pled guilty and was sentenced on February 28, 2012. After the plea was entered, Superior Court Judge Sandra Hamlin sentenced Garabedian to serve two years of supervised probation, with the condition that Garabedian step down from his business, J&J Landscape Supply (J&J), and cease any association with Jayco Landscaping Supply Co. (Jayco) or John Toyias. Garabedian is also prohibited from bidding on any government contracts and is prohibited from serving in a management position at any company. The Commonwealth recommended that Garabedian be sentenced to one year in the House of Corrections.
Garabedian is the former vice president of Jayco and the former manager of J&J, a hauling and transport company that was incorporated in December 2010 after Jayco was barred from municipal contracting for a year. Garabedian entered into an agreement with the National Water Main Cleaning Company (National Water Main) in the summer of 2011, to transport catch basin cleanings from the Lowell Transfer Station to the Southbridge Landfill, an authorized facility for the disposal of solid waste.
In September 2011, a truck operated by Garabedian’s company was observed transporting catch basin cleanings for disposal from the Lowell Transfer Station. Rather than transporting the solid waste to the Southbridge Landfill, the truck proceeded to dump the material at the J&J facility in Waltham, which is not a permissible site for the disposal of solid waste material.
Garabedian provided invoices to National Water Main seeking compensation for transporting more than 15 loads of catch basin cleanings, none of which were ever received by the Southbridge Landfill.
The charges are the result of an investigation by the Massachusetts Environmental Strike Force, an interagency unit which is overseen by AG Coakley, MassDEP Commissioner Kimmell, and Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan, Jr. The Strike Force comprises prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Office, Environmental Police Officers assigned to the Attorney General’s Office, and investigators and engineers from the MassDEP who investigate and prosecute crimes that harm or threaten the state’s water, air, or land and that pose a significant threat to human health.
A Middlesex Grand Jury returned indictments against Garabedian on November 17, 2011 and he was arraigned on January 5, 2012. On February 28, 2012, Garabedian pled guilty to the charge of violating the Solid Waste Act (2 counts) and was sentenced in Middlesex Superior Court.
Members of the public who have information regarding a potential environmental crime are encouraged to contact the MassDEP Environmental Strike Force Hotline at 1-888-VIOLATE (846-5283) or the Attorney General’s Office at 617-727-2200.
Assistant Attorneys General Andrew Rainer and Laura Harris, of Attorney General Coakley’s Environmental Crimes Strike Force, prosecuted the case with assistance from investigator Richard Tomczyk of MassDEP.