Co-defendant may consider plea in Mahoning River spill case - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Co-defendant may consider plea in Mahoning River spill case

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© Michael Guesman © Michael Guesman

CLEVELAND, Ohio - A court document indicates that one of the men charged in connection with alleged dumping of drilling waste into the Mahoning River may be thinking of entering a plea.

U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent today granted a motion for defendant Michael Guessman seeking a presentence report prior to any plea or finding of guilt.

The motion says that Guesman's public defender, Carolyn Kucharski, needs to verify her client's criminal history which may potentially have an effect on plea negotiations.

A message with Kucharski's office was not returned.

34 year old Guesman and his former employer, former D&L energy President  Ben Lupo, were indicted in February  on charges of violating the Federal Clean Water Act.

A hearing in the federal case is scheduled for next week.

Investigators say Lupo admitted to instructing Guesman to illegally discharge thousands of gallons of oil and chemical-based drilling wastewater into a storm drain at his Salt Springs Road facility in Youngstown.

Environmental officials claim that the  contaminated wastewater found it's way  into the Mahoning River.

The state of Ohio revoked operating permits for the companies implicated in the in D & L Energy and Hardrock Excavating, however company executives are pursuing an appeal.

 

 

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