Nassau County authorities have arrested a Valley Stream man who they say dumped 80,000 pounds of construction debris on the side of a road in Uniondale.
Jose Napolean Cruz Maltez, 39, was charged with first-degree criminal mischief and three solid waste management misdemeanors, according to the Nassau district attorney’s office.
Maltez was arraigned Wednesday. He is due back in court Aug. 17. If convicted, he faces up to 7 years in prison.
Maltez’s attorney Irwin Klein of Garden City said his client has been cooperating fully with state officials about the alleged debris incident.
“My client was as surprised as anyone else that this construction debris was dumped in a place other than a licensed recycling facility,” Klein said Wednesday. “We’re hoping that this will be resolved either in conference with the state attorney’s office or through the court process.”
Maltez’s charges stem from a New York Department of Environmental Conservation investigation in April, the DA’s office said.
On April 24, officials with the state Department of Transportation contacted the Department of Environmental Conservation about debris found on a vacant lot at Jerusalem Avenue near the Meadowbrook State Parkway. When the DEC agents came to the site, officials say they found four piles of debris that stretched 5 feet high and 106 feet long, the release from Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.
Environmental officials said the debris came from a demolition site at a home in Forest Hills, Queen. The company completing the construction and demolition was Maltez’s L&J Stucco. Maltez and his company were contracted to haul the debris to an authorized dumping site, the DA release said.
“Dumping garbage along the road creates a dangerous health hazard for people and the environment, as well as a massive expense for taxpayers,” state transportation Commissioner Matthew Driscoll said in a statement.
The Transportation Department estimates the site cleanup will cost about $15,000.