Feds charge fourth suspect with dumping oil waste into Mahoning - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Feds charge fourth suspect with dumping oil waste into Mahoning River

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Ben Lupo Ben Lupo

Three years after gas and oil drilling waste was purposely allowed to seep into the Mahoning River, federal investigators have charged a fourth person in connection with the investigation.

The U.S. Attorney's Office filed a bill of information on Thursday, charging David Jenkins of Warren with allowing an unpermitted discharge in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Prosecutors say that when Jenkins worked for Hardrock Excavating in Youngstown, he ordered that drilling waste that was being stored on the property to be dumped into storm sewers along Salt Springs Road. Investigators say that waste eventually found its way into a tributary of the Mahoning River.

Facing one year or more in prison, Jenkins has been offered the option of pleading guilty to the charge, thus avoiding a federal indictment.

Jenkin's name first became publicly associated with the investigation earlier this month when the Ohio Attorney General's office filed a civil suit against him, two former co-workers, and their boss, Ben Lupo.

The suit seeks penalties in excess of $25,000 from the four men for their part in dumping what the government estimated was one-quarter-a-million gallons of oil and oilfield waste.

The month-long cleanup effort cost more than $3 million, which was charged to Hardrock.

Two other Hardrock employees, Mark Goff of Newton Falls and Michael Guesman of Cortland, pleaded guilty to federal charges and were placed on probation.

Lupo, the owner of Hardrock, was sentenced to 28 months in prison and fined $25,000 for violating the Federal Clean Water Act.

According to Bureau of Prison records, Lupo is scheduled to be released in October from the Devens Federal Medical Center in Massachusetts.

You can see the Information document charging David Jenkins here

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