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For Release: Friday, July 11, 2014

DEC Lieutenant David Clarke Awarded EPA's Bronze Medal for Environmental Crimes Investigation

Lieutenant David Clarke, with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation, received the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Bronze Medal for outstanding work on the case of illegal dumping of 8,100 tons of pulverized construction and demolition debris from New York and New Jersey solid waste management facilities and transporting of that material to a farmer's property in Frankfort, N.Y. The EPA's Environmental Crimes Section recognized Lt. Clarke and his colleagues, who started and investigated this case, which led to five convictions.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said, "Congratulations to Lt. Clarke for receiving this bronze medal and recognition of the hard work put into this case. This is yet another example of the great work performed by our plain clothes investigators within DEC's Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation."

This case culminated in the conviction and June 18 and 19, 2013 sentencing of Cross Nicastro II, Dominick Mazza, and his company, Mazza & Sons Inc.; July 31 sentencing of Don "Donnie" Torriero; Aug. 2 sentencing of Julius DeSimone; and Aug. 29 sentencing of Jonathan Deck, all in federal court in Utica, N.Y., for conspiring to violate the Clean Water Act, Superfund statute and to defraud the United States by illegally dumping thousands of tons of asbestos-contaminated construction debris on a 28-acre piece of property on the Mohawk River in upstate New York.

Gary Donner and Todd Gleason of the U.S. Department of Justice wrote to Lt. Clarke in a letter that "the results speak for themselves - seven individuals/entities convicted, more than $700,000 in criminal penalties assessed, close to $500,000 in restitution awarded to the victims, and, most importantly, more than 135 months of court-imposed terms of incarceration. Your counterparts at the Environmental Crimes Section fully recognize that none of this would have been possible without your years of effort on this case."

DEC's Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation, EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the Internal Revenue Service, the New Jersey State Police Office of Business Integrity Unit, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Ohio Department of Environmental Protection all participated in the investigation of this case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig A. Benedict of the Northern District of New York and Trial Attorneys Todd W. Gleason and Gary Donner of the Environmental Crimes Section of the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division.

EPA is currently cleaning up the Frankfort, N.Y. farm which received the illegally dumped debris. Information about the cleanup and illegal dumping can be seen on the EPA's website which can be found in the right hand column of this page.

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