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Sunday, June 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Man Charged in Wetland Dumping Scheme

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - A federal grand jury has indicted a 59-year-old, self-described "dirt broker" on charges of illegally dumping pollutants into nearly 12 acres of protected wetlands.

The Justice Department says that beginning in June 2014, James Philip Lucero of Carmel, California, charged fees to contractors and trucking companies in exchange for dumping construction debris into part of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Lucero dumped the pollutants without getting a permit from either the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers or the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a statement by EPA and FBI agents, United States Attorney Brian Stretch and Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley.

Lucero, who now lives in the South Bay, is charged with one count of "unpermitted filling of wetlands" and one count of dumping in 1.33 acres of other U.S. waters, in violation of U.S. code. He faces three years on prison and a $50,000 fine if convicted.

A copy of the indictment was not made available, and the case has been sealed.

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