LAKE RONKONKOMA, NY (OnSachem.com / OnTownMedia.com) — A dumpster rental company and its owner pleaded guilty on Wednesday for illegally dumping solid waste, including construction and demolition debris, on Town of Brookhaven property along Lloyd Court in Lake Ronkonkoma. Lloyd Court is located east of Hawkins Avenue, behind Friendly's Restaurant.
Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini and the Town of Brookhaven made the announcement shortly after the plea.
According to the DA, Rocco Schuster, 51, of Sound Beach, pleaded guilty today to Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, and Unlawful Disposal of Solid Waste, a class A misdemeanor. Schuster’s company, R&G Dumpsters, Inc., also pleaded guilty to Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree, the DA said.
“This defendant was caught on surveillance video unloading construction debris from one of his company’s trucks directly onto the road, with no attempt to dispose of it properly and a clear disregard for public health and the environment,” Sini said. “Our communities are not landfills, and we will aggressively pursue anyone who thinks otherwise. Today’s plea ensures that the cost of cleaning up this dumping site falls squarely on the perpetrator and not on Brookhaven taxpayers. I want to thank the Town of Brookhaven for their assistance in this investigation and swift action to clean up the site.”
Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine added, "Illegal dumping is a serious crime and growing problem in the Town of Brookhaven. As evident with this case, anyone responsible for dumping will be pursued and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I thank District Attorney Sini for his steadfast pursuit of the people responsible for this attack on our environment. Let this be a warning to those who might consider dumping illegally in the Town of Brookhaven. You will be caught, you will be fined and you could serve time in jail.”
At approximately 3:08 a.m. on Sept. 27, 2019, Schuster, while driving an R&G Dumpsters truck, illegally disposed of 20 cubic yards of mixed construction and demolition debris and other solid waste material on Town of Brookhaven property on Lloyd Court in Lake Ronkonkoma, the DA said. The solid waste included lumber, wood doors, wood and plastic fencing, plate glass and mirrors, cardboards, plastics, foam paddings, empty cement bags, gypsum drywall wallboard, scrap metals, and ceramics, including toilet, tub, and sink pieces, the DA added.
Working in collaboration with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and Suffolk County Police Department, the Town of Brookhaven’s Highway Department cleaned up the property on Oct. 7, 2019.
Following an investigation, Schuster was arrested by detectives from the Suffolk County Police Department’s District Attorney’s Squad on Dec. 10, 2019. Schuster’s truck, a white 2000 Freightliner FL50, was seized.
Under to the plea agreement, Schuster is required to pay $2,119.04 in restitution to the Town of Brookhaven for the cleanup and is required to forfeit his truck to the District Attorney’s Office, the DA said.