Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.

May 25, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357


Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today the conviction of Samuel Lee Jones, of the 1300 block of East Lanvale Street, Baltimore, for charges arising from the Attorney General's initiative to combat illegal tire dumping in Baltimore City. Jones, 44, pled guilty to Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle and received a six-month jail sentence yesterday from Judge David Mitchell of the Baltimore City Circuit Court. Jones rented a 24-foot U-Haul on February 9, 2000, which was recovered abandoned and filled with approximately 500 scrap tires in East Baltimore on March 7, 2000. Jones is the third individual convicted as part of the initiative. The two others are awaiting sentencing.

The 2000 initiative, dubbed "Operation Tire Track", was developed by Attorney General Curran’s Environmental Crimes Unit, the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Baltimore City Department of Public Works, with assistance from the Baltimore City Police Department, the Maryland State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Environmental Protection Agency's Criminal Investigations Division and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"We are working collectively with many agencies to attack this problem, which is not only a harm to the environment, but is a blight on some of Baltimore's struggling neighborhoods," Attorney General Curran said. "Dumped tires are not only a health hazard, they significantly impact the quality of life of nearby residents."

By law, scrap tires must be collected and disposed of only at licensed facilities, which charge a fee for the disposal of tires. Those who haul scrap tires must also be licensed by the state. Tire stores and other commercial establishments that accumulate scrap tires must keep records showing where their scrap tires are shipped, the number of tires and the identity of the licensed hauler. Unlicenced haulers have been collecting tires from commercial establishments and dumping them on city owned and privately owned properties in Baltimore.