The Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office has convicted Antonio Palma Pineda, 53, of Cypress, for illegally dumping refuse into the Bouton Creek Storm Drain in Long Beach.
He has been sentenced to six months in LA County jail, to pay restitution of $1,963 to the City of Long Beach for the cost of cleaning what he dumped and pay $2,310 in court fines and penalties. Pineda was also convicted of contracting without a license, according to a Feb. 19 press release from the Office of the Long Beach City Prosecutor.
Pineda will also be on probation for three years, and faces an additional year in county jail if he violates probation.
The sentence was handed down by Superior Court Judge Lori R. Behar.
“Our storm drains lead to the ocean and toxic materials dumped into the storm drain can cause illness to people and destroy our environment,” Long Beach City Prosecutor Doug Haubert said. “We live in a coastal community and crimes like this affect all of us.”
A Long Beach Transit driver witnessed Pineda dumping a white liquid into the Bouton Creek Storm Drain near Atherton Street and Clark Avenue, according to the press release. The Bouton Creek Storm Drain leads to the Los Cerritos Channel, and eventually the Pacific Ocean.
A Long Beach Fire Engine went to investigate the allegations, and fire fighters then observed Pineda illegally dumping leftover latex paint and drywall above a fence and into the creek.
The case was investigated by Tye Johnson, an environmental investigator for the Long Beach Fire Department.
“We encourage anyone who sees illegal dumping to report it immediately,” Deputy City Prosecutor Brendan Boyes said.
Boyes handles environmental criminal cases in the city.
Since the City Prosecutor’s Office received a $50,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in 2011, prosecution of environmental cases has increased.