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


December 14, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

DORCHESTER MAN CHARGED WITH COMMERCIAL DUMPING AND OPEN BURNING

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that William Anthony Wheatley, 49, of the 5700 block of Richardson Road, in Cambridge, Maryland, has been charged in the District Court of Maryland for Dorchester County with commercial dumping and two counts of open burning. The charges allege Wheatley violated the State's air pollution laws on October 24 and 29, 2000 by illegally conducting open fires. Wheatley is also charged with illegally dumping for commercial purposes on October 24, 2000 in the Cambridge area of Dorchester County.

If convicted of the open burning charges, Wheatley could be sentenced to a year in prison and/or fined $25,000 for each conviction. If convicted of the commercial dumping, Wheatley could be sentenced to five years in prison and/or fined $25,000. The filing of charges is merely an accusation of criminal wrongdoing and each individual is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

These charges follow a joint investigation conducted by the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Office of the Attorney General and the Maryland State Police with the assistance of the Maryland Department of Environment's Air and Radiation Management Administration.

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