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For Immediate Release
April 20, 2004
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

HARFORD COUNTY MAN CONVICTED OF TIRE DUMPING

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Henry Purnell Guercio, Jr., 43, of the 1700 block of Campbell Road in Forest Hill, Maryland was convicted of illegally disposing of scrap tires for monetary gain. The tire dumping occurred between August 15th and December 1st of 2002 on a farm located at 309-311 West Wheel Road in the Bel Air area of Harford County, Maryland.

Guercio was convicted for disposing of approximately 1,800 tires on the farm that he was renting at the time. Guercio convinced a licensed tire hauler to delivery scrap tires to the farm by falsely maintaining that he was a licensed landscaper involving in the building of playgrounds made from shredded tires. Guercio charged the legitimate tire hauler money for each tire left at the farm. Guercio then abandoned the tires on the farm. Investigators from the Attorney General’s Environmental Crimes Unit were able to trace the scrap tires back to two tire stores in Bel Air and ultimately to Guercio who no longer lived on the farm when the tire dump was discovered.

“ Tires are a blight on many communities around our State. In addition to being unsightly they pose public safety risks that the dumping of other materials does not. Among other problems, tires are an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, particularly those that carry the West Nile virus. The farm where this dump occurred is outside of Bel Air, but surrounded by residential developments in a quickly growing part of Harford County. We need to ensure that tires are handled lawfully and our citizens are not unnecessarily exposed to the detrimental effects of tire dumping, ” said Attorney General Curran.

Maryland requires that tire haulers and tire disposal facilities be licensed to assist in making sure that the millions of scrap tires generated each year in Maryland are disposed of in a safe and appropriate manner. Last year, the Maryland Department of the Environment spent over $2.6 million cleaning up illegal tire dumps. In this case, the tire hauler that Guercio duped into providing the tires cleaned up the property when the dump was discovered last summer.

Guercio entered a guilty plea in front of the Honorable William O. Carr of the Circuit Court for Harford County. Judge Carr sentenced the defendant to two years in state prison and suspended the sentence in favor of two years of supervised probation. Guercio was ordered to perform seventy-five hours of community work service and pay $480 in court costs. The Court imposed and suspended a $5,000 fine as well.

 

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