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

August 15, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357


Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today the sentencing of Stephen Walter Wolfe for the illegal dumping of litter at a residential construction site in Carroll County. Wolfe, 49, who is a resident of Jefferson in Frederick County, is an employee of Home Farm Construction, Inc., a residential builder and developer. Wolfe was videotaped by a neighbor using a backhoe to bury construction debris and trash at a new home site in Finksburg.

The defendant pled guilty today before Judge Michael M. Galloway of the Circuit Court for Carroll County. Wolfe was fined $2,500, given probation before judgment and ordered to complete a year of probation. The corporation, Home Farm Construction, Inc. is awaiting sentencing for a conviction on the same charge after a trial in Carroll County Circuit Court in June.

It is illegal for an individual or a corporation to dump litter such as construction debris on public or private property unless the property is designated by the state for disposal. When the Home Farm site was excavated, investigators found debris including insulation, plastic, vinyl siding, plastic buckets, asphalt, plastic piping, household trash, brick, metal, drywall and other construction materials. Sergeant Mike Boyd of the Maryland State Police, working as an investigator for the Attorney General's Environmental Crimes Unit, estimated the volume of waste that was buried to be approximately 600 cubic feet. The defendant told Sgt. Boyd that part of his routine job duties with Home Farm Construction, Inc. included the burying of trash at the company's construction sites.

The possible penalties for dumping litter in excess of 500 pounds or for commercial purposes include up to five years imprisonment and/or a $25,000 fine. Sentencing of Home Farm, Inc. is scheduled for December 3, 2001.