The Justice Department announced yesterday that two men have been charged with illegally hauling toxic wastes.
Graham Nugent and Ivan Matula, named in a 14-count indictment in U.S. District Court in Houston, were charged under the 1980 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act with illegally transporting hundreds of barrels of toxic wastes, including mercury compounds, from companies in Texas and Louisiana to a warehouse in Hidalgo, Tex.
In the indictments, which were handed down by a grand jury in September and sealed until this week, the men also were charged with mail fraud and making false statements.
The indictments said the companies paid the two men to transport the toxic substances to a waste reclamation and disposal facility in Mexico where they were employed. The men allegedly forged documents indicating that the materials reached the facility.
The indictments also accuse Nugent and Matula of scheming to persuade companies to hire them to haul dangerous polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to the Mexican facility. However, even if the PCBs had been taken there, the disposal station is not equipped to handle PCBs.
Nugent and Matula, who remain at large, each face up to two years in prison and fines of $50,000 a day on the illegal hauling charges, five years in prison and a $1,000 fine on each mail fraud charge and five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each count of making false statements.