July 26, 2005
CURRAN ANNOUNCES CONVICTIONS IN BALTIMORE CITY DUMPING
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that
Jason Tart, 34, of the 5000 block of Forge Road in Perry
and John Cromwell, 63, of the 4400 block of MacWorth Place in
Baltimore, Maryland pled guilty to illegally dumping debris
gain in a warehouse located at 3501 E. Biddle Street in Baltimore
According to the statement of facts, Tart and Cromwell owned
several businesses and operated under several different business
including CFH Management, CFH Roll-Off, and J & J Recycling.
On January 30, 2004, Cromwell, signed a one-year lease (for J & J
Recycling) to rent a warehouse from Biddle Ashland company, located
in Baltimore City, Maryland. Soon after the lease was signed, however,
piles of debris began accumulating in the warehouse. The company’s
employees would sort the debris, purportedly for recycling, but
the debris was rarely hauled out of the warehouse.
March 2004, Tart allowed a construction company to dump its demolition
in the warehouse for a tipping fee of $27.00/ton,
a fee considerably cheaper than the cost to properly dispose of
the debris in an authorized landfill. In April 2004 Tart and Cromwell
had completely filled up the warehouse with debris. On April 21,
2004, Maryland Department of the Environment, Solid Waste Division
issued a site complaint to “CFH Roll-Off” for operating
a solid waste processing facility and transfer station without
a permit. The complaint instructed the company to “remove
existing waste and dispose of [the waste] at properly permitted
facilities.” The site complaint stated that CFH Roll-Off
had 30 days to comply with the order. Instead of complying with
the site violation, Tart and Cromwell abandoned the site, leaving
the 25,000 sq. ft. Biddle Ashland warehouse completely filled with
debris and rubbish.
By law, the dumping, depositing, throwing or leaving of any litter
on any public or private place is prohibited unless such property
is designated by the State, one of its agencies or one of its subdivisions
as a disposal site for such litter. The Biddle Ashland warehouse
is not an authorized state or county disposal site.
Tart and Cromwell were convicted in the Circuit Court for Baltimore
City by the Honorable Joseph P. McCurdy. Tart was sentenced to
three years in prison, all three years suspended; a fine of $25,000
with all but $15,000 suspended; and two years of supervised probation.
In addition, Judge McCurdy ordered Tart to perform 200 hours in
community services by the end of his probation period. Cromwell
was sentenced to two years in prison, all two years suspended;
a fine of $2,500 with all but $500 suspended; and one year of supervised
"These individuals collected and illegally dumped debris,
and charged other companies to dump construction debris in a warehouse
without a permit; when ordered to remove the debris, they abandoned
it. Their actions not only create a hazard to the health and welfare
of citizens, but undermine the Maryland Department of Environment’s
attempts to ensure that waste is properly disposed of here in Maryland," Attorney
General Curran said.
The convictions resulted from a joint investigation of the Office
of the Attorney General’s Environmental Crimes Unit, the
Maryland Department of the Environment, and the Baltimore City
Police Department-Environmental Crimes Enforcement Unit. The defendants
faced a maximum penalty of up to five years in jail and/or a $25,000
fine. However, the monetary penalty has increased to $30,000 for
acts occurring after October 1, 2004.