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

June 27, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357


Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today the conviction of John Odell Ransom, of New Carrollton, on charges of Causing and Permitting the Dumping of Scrap Tires on the grounds of the Jericho City of Praise Church at 8601 Spectrum Drive in Landover. More than 3,500 tires were dumped on the church’s property in July 1999.

Ransom was sentenced to three years in prison, all suspended, and a three-year period of supervised probation. In addition, Ransom was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, with $500 suspended, and ordered to perform sixty hours of community service.

Ransom, 59, was convicted in a trial before Judge Robert W. Heffron, Jr. of the Prince George’s County District Court. Costco Wholesale Corporation hired Ransom, who is licensed to haul scrap tires, in June and July of 1999 to dispose of tires generated by their Beltsville Store. The tires were traced to Costco through tags and brand names found on the tires.

By law, scrap tires must be 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 used to dispose of the tires. Those seeking to avoid paying for proper disposal frequently dump scrap tires on public and private property. Dumped tires pose a health hazard because they are flammable and harbor mosquitoes. In addition, the unsightly dumps are costly to clean up and significantly impact the quality of life in affected communities.

Ransom is facing additional charges for abandoning scrap tires at another location, which are scheduled for trial on August 2, 2001.