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For Immediate Release
November 13, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
scaine@oag.state.md.us

BALTIMORE COUNTY MEN AND BODY SHOP
SENTENCED FOR HAZARDOUS WASTE OFFENSES

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that two Edgemere men and a Baltimore County auto body shop have been sentenced for criminal hazardous waste offenses. Russell M. McClelland, 49, and his nephew, David L. McClelland, 39, both appeared before Judge J. Grason Turnbull, II in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County and entered guilty pleas. Russell McClelland also pled guilty on behalf of his company, Bayside Autobody, Inc., 310 Eastern Avenue in Baltimore.

Investigation of these crimes by the Attorney General's Environmental Crimes Unit began when 10 drums containing hazardous spent solvents were found on January 9, 2003 dumped approximately one half mile southwest of Back River Neck Road in Baltimore County. Evidence at the scene linked the drums to Bayside Autobody, Inc. Further investigation revealed that an inspector from the Maryland Department of the Environment had visited the body shop the day before and noted several violations regarding hazardous waste storage, and directed that the violations be resolved within 30 days. David McClelland admits that later that day an unknown scrap hauler came to the business. David McClelland contacted Russell McClelland, who was not present, and was authorized by him to allow the hauler to remove the drums and to pay him in cash. Both Russell and David McClelland were aware that the hauler lacked the certifications to haul hazardous waste in Maryland. The hauler's identity remains unknown.

Bayside Autobody, Inc. pled guilty to one felony count of illegally storing, treating and disposing of a controlled hazardous substance at Wildwood Beach Road in eastern Baltimore County on January 8, 2003. The body shop was also sentenced for three additional counts for failing to properly label a hazardous substance, failing to require evidence of a hauler's certification before having a hazardous substance transported, and for contracting with someone other than a valid hauler to transport a hazardous substance. The corporation was sentenced to pay a total of $50,000 in fines to the State Hazardous Substance Control Fund. The corporation was also placed on one year of probation. Bayside faced potential fines of up to $100,000 for the first count, and up to $25,000 for each of the remaining counts. Bayside paid all of the clean-up costs associated with the dumped drums.

Russell M. McClelland, the owner of Bayside Autobody, and his nephew David McClelland, each pled guilty to failing to require evidence of a hauler's certificate, driver's certificate and vehicle certificate prior to having a hazardous substance transported. David McClelland was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. Russell McClelland was ordered to personally guarantee the $50,000 levied against his company. All fines will be paid to the State Hazardous Substance Control Fund. The McClellands both faced a potential maximum penalty of up to one year in prison and/or a $25,000. Citing the defendant's lack of any prior criminal record, Judge Turnbull granted the McClellands probation before judgment. In the event of any violation of the probation the Court could impose the statutory maximum sentence.

The convictions result from 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 the Environment.

 

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