A judge overseeing the illegal dumping cases in Suffolk County said he’s “highly confident” that two sites where contaminated materials remain – a lot in Central Islip and a sensitive wetlands area in Deer Park – will be cleaned up in the “not too distant future.”
As part of his plea agreement on March 30, Thomas Datre Jr., of 5 Brothers Farming Corp., said he would help remove thousands of tons of contaminated construction and demolition debris from the remaining two of four Suffolk sites that have yet to be remediated: a one-acre lot on Islip Avenue at the corner of Sage Street in Central Islip, and a state-protected wetland area off of Brook Avenue in Deer Park, part of a property owned by April Masie and her mother, Margaret Masie, both of Wantagh.
Christopher Grabe, of Islandia Recycling, who pleaded guilty the same day to two dumping-related felonies, agreed to help with the Central Islip property. Work has yet to begin at either site.
“The last few months, the parties have kept me apprised of the many difficulties and obstacles they have faced, and that they were trying to resolve the situations,” state Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho said in his Central Islip courtroom Tuesday. “I’m aware of those obstacles and difficulties and I’m also satisfied that all the parties have been working diligently to resolve the issues.”
Datre’s attorney, Kevin Kearon, of Garden City, had told Camacho that his client was having difficulty securing an out-of-state site that would accept contaminated materials. Camacho initially set a June 27 deadline for completion of cleanup at the Central Islip site. At a June 9 hearing, Camacho extended the deadline until the end of summer after Kearon said his client had yet to find a disposal site.
Outside of court Tuesday, Kearon said his client “has identified numerous locations in a number of states which may be suitable for different categories of materials” and estimated the work would be done “by the end of the year.”
Datre Jr. and his company both pleaded guilty to four felonies for dumping at the Central Islip and Deer Park locations as well as at Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood and a six-home subdivision in Islandia for returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Similar charges against Thomas Datre Sr. were dropped at the time of his son’s guilty plea. Grabe pleaded guilty alongside Datre Jr. to dumping at Clemente Park as well as at the Islip Avenue site.
A fourth defendant, Ronald Cianciulli, owner of Atlas Asphalt, was found guilty after a bench trial June 3 for helping Datre Jr. dump at the Deer Park site. Cianciulli’s attorney, John Carman of Garden City, attended the conference Tuesday and has said his client is willing to help clean up the Masie property.
Parties in the final cases in the dumping indictment, against two former Islip Town officials, ex-parks commissioner Joseph J. Montuori Jr. and his former secretary, Brett A. Robinson, are due back in court Wednesday to set a jury selection date.
Camacho had deferred sentencings for Datre Jr. and Grabe and promised to consider less incarceration time if the two acted in “good faith” and helped remediate the remaining debris, along with efforts to rehabilitate Roberto Clemente Park and reopen its gates to the public. The park, which has been closed since April 2014, had been cleaned up by Islip Town in summer 2015, but remains shuttered and in disarray.
If they comply with the terms of the deal, Datre Jr. could face between 1 to 3 years in prison and Grabe, six months behind bars with 5 years probation.