Columbus, Ohio - An Ohio man pleaded guilty in the Southern District of Ohio before U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr. to conspiring to illegally transport and dispose of hazardous waste at several area apartment complexes.
According to court documents, in October 2018, Khaled Ebrigit, 54, of Columbus, Ohio, paid and directed Martin Eldridge, 41, of Williamsport, Ohio, to dump drums of hazardous waste near dumpsters at several apartment complexes throughout Columbus.
Ebrigit knew the material was hazardous and did not have a permit to dispose of it.
In total, six 55-gallon drums and 64 10-gallon drums were dumped at six residential apartment complexes in Columbus. Many of the drums were labeled with brightly colored warning labels with symbols and written statements indicating “flammable” and “irritating,” and with a detailed listing of hazards and precautions including but not limited to “[h]ighly flammable,” “[i]rritating to eyes,” and “[t]ake precautionary measures against static discharges.” Many of the drums were leaking.
As a result of the dumping, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Columbus Fire Department and Columbus Division of Police responded to reports of illegal dumping and cleaned the various sites.
As part of his plea, Ebrigit agreed to pay at least $30,000 in restitution.
Specifically, Ebrigit pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiring to illegally transport hazardous material, transporting hazardous material and disposing of hazardous material.
Eldridge pleaded guilty in December 2019 to the same three crimes.
The U.S. EPA Criminal Enforcement Program, Ohio EPA, and Franklin County Sheriff’s office investigated the case.
Trial Attorney Adam C. Cullman of the Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Environmental Crimes Section, Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Michael Marous of the Southern District of Ohio, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Robinson from Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien’s office are representing the United States in this case.