Farmingville Man Arrested for Alleged Illegal Dumping in Suffolk County Nature Preserve
SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY (11/20/19) – Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini today announced the arrest of a Farmingville man for allegedly damaging the Suffolk County Nature Preserve in Yaphank, which is adjacent to his business, by illegal dumping, illegally removing trees, and storing barrels of form oil on the County property that leaked hazardous substances into the ground.
“Suffolk County’s parks are not a dumping ground. Period,” District Attorney Sini said. “Cracking down on environmental crimes, which can damage our natural resources and threaten public health, is a top priority of my office, and we will continue to work with all of our partners in law enforcement and government to do so.”
Ludovino Correia, 54, was arrested Monday and charged with Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, a D felony; Unlawful Disposal of Solid Waste, an A misdemeanor; Endangering Public Health, Safety, or the Environment in the Fourth Degree, an A misdemeanor; and Trespassing, a violation.
Correia is the owner of Sunshine of East Coast, Inc., a concrete and construction company, which operates a facility located at 49 North Dunton Avenue in Medford, adjacent to the Suffolk County Nature Preserve in Yaphank. Following a fire that occurred on the property in April 2019, the Brookhaven Town Fire Marshal notified law enforcement of suspected illegal activity at the property, including the alleged encroachment onto County parkland and storage of various equipment and unknown materials. As a result, in May 2019, several site inspections were conducted at the property by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office’s Environmental Crime Team, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Suffolk County Department of Health Services, Suffolk County Parks Department, Brookhaven Town Fire Marshal and other Brookhaven Town representatives.
The investigation revealed that Correia allegedly illegally dumped approximately 200 cubic yards of solid waste consisting of concrete, asphalt, brick, tile, plastic, glass, metal and lumber onto County property.
Correia is also alleged to have built a storage shed and stored various pieces of equipment, including heavy construction machinery belonging to his business as well as two personally-owned boats, on the County’s property. He also allegedly illegally cut down and removed numerous trees from the County land.
Correia is also alleged to have stored several 55-gallon drums of form oil on the County property, some of which had leaked onto the soil. A laboratory analysis of the soil was conducted by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services and the soil tested positive for the presence of hazardous substances.
The total estimated cost to remediate the damaged County land is approximately $178,719, according to an environmental analysis conducted by the Suffolk County Parks Department.
Correia was arraigned on the charges Monday in Suffolk County First District Court and was released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court on Dec. 4.
“The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is taking unprecedented action to crack down on illegal dumping on Long Island,” said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Our Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) and expert staff have strengthened regulations and are bringing criminals to justice. We are going after bad actors and with the assistance of Suffolk County District Attorney Sini and his office to hold these illegal dumpers accountable and protect public health and the environment.”
“Suffolk County has been at the forefront of the war on illegal dumping and environmental crimes, with District Attorney Sini leading the fight,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “Our message is clear – Long Island is not your dumping ground, and anyone who engages in this type of activity will pay a harsh price.”
“Illegal dumping and illegal tree cutting in the Town of Brookhaven is a serious crime that can result in severe penalties and even jail time,” said Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine. “I thank our Town Fire Marshals for their vigilance and for uncovering this illegal activity and District Attorney Sini and his staff for working hand-in-hand with the Town to apprehend the people responsible. The Town will continue to cooperate with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office until justice is done.”
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Adriana Noyola, of the Enhanced Prosecution Bureau.