Two Plead Guilty in Oil Spill Case


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 3, 1999

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that a Severn man and a Glen Burnie man pleaded guilty today to Failure to Report an Oil Spill. Michael D. McKee, Jr., 28, 8537 New Cut Road, Severn, and Steven Wayne Cofiell, 35, 6028 Locust Avenue, Glen Burnie, each received probation before judgment. Anne Arundel County District Court Judge Paul A. Hackner placed each of the men on probation for one year and ordered them to complete 50 hours of community service of an environmental clean-up nature.

According to the Application for Statement of Charges, on June 18, 1998, a 911 call was received concerning a strong solvent odor in a Brooklyn Park community. The odors were emanating from the fenced lot of McIntyre's Auto Repair, Inc., 4005 Governor Ritchie Highway, Brooklyn. An investigator assigned to the Environmental Crimes Unit observed a large amount of an oily substance on the surface of McIntyre's lot. According to a witness, Cofiell and McKee had been knocking holes in several drums with a splitting maul and then dumping the drums' oily contents onto the ground.

Cofiell admitted to dumping 5 drums and McKee admitted to dumping one. They both stated that the manager of McIntyre's, Gary Lee Brown, Sr., had told them to dump the drums. Both Cofiell and McKee stated that the drums had been present on the lot for several years. Neither Cofiell nor McKee reported the oil spill to proper authorities, as required by Maryland law.

Charges are pending against Brown and McIntyre's Auto Repair, Inc. Those cases are scheduled for trial in January 2000. These cases were investigated by the Maryland Attorney General's Environmental Crimes Unit and the Maryland State Police.


For Further Information Contact:
Frank Mann
Special Assistant to the Attorney General
(410) 576-6357