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For Immediate Release
August 15, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
scaine@oag.state.md.us

BALTIMORE CITY MAN
SENTENCED TO JAIL FOR ILLEGAL TIRE DISPOSAL
Knox is Second MD Man Sentenced to Jail on Thursday for Illegal Tire Dumping

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today the sentencing of James Knox, 46, of the 1600 block of E. 25th Street in Baltimore, for charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and for illegally disposing of scrap tires.

Knox was charged as part of a 2000 initiative conducted by the Office of the Attorney General, the Baltimore Department of Public Works, and the Baltimore Police Department. The initiative, dubbed "Operation Tire Track," targeted the increasing problem of illegal scrap tire dumping on the city's east side.

Judge Thomas J.S. Waxter, Jr. of the Circuit Court sentenced Knox Thursday to two years in prison with all but six months suspended, following a guilty plea to two counts of littering in excess of five hundred pounds and two counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Knox admitted to failing to return two rental trucks, which he subsequently abandoned. The trucks both contained hundreds of scrap tires. Following his prison term, Knox will serve two years' supervised probation.

"Illegal tire dumping poses a serious health risk to our neighborhoods and its residents," Attorney General Curran said. "We will continue to partner with other law enforcement agencies to crack down on tire dumping and aggressively prosecute offenders."

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. 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.

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