MAN INDICTED FOR DUMPING HAZARDOUS WASTE IN MORE THAN 200 LARGE VEHICLE FUEL TANKS AT 10 DIFFERENT LOCATIONS
Posted on 5/12/2017
Defendant: Randall Ray Belcher
Prosecutor Ron O’Brien announced today that the Grand Jury indicted Randall Ray Belcher, age 45, of a total of 20 counts of Illegal Hazardous Waste Disposal, Hazardous Waste Transportation and Open Dumping. “Over the course of several months in 2014 and 2015, Belcher dumped approximately 230 large vehicle fuel tanks and an empty 55-gallon drum at ten different locations in south Columbus. Most of the tanks contained gasoline, which is considered a hazardous waste because it can ignite at low temperatures and explode,” O’Brien stated. Belcher dumped the tanks in alleys, business parking lots and the backyards of houses. “On at least two occasions, neighborhood residents who witnessed the dumping confronted Belcher and told him not to dump the material, but both times Belcher left the tanks and sped off,” O’Brien further stated. Belcher answered a Craig’s List advertisement placed by a local auto salvage yard offering the tanks free to anyone who would haul them away; Belcher then scrapped the metal components of the mostly-plastic tanks and dumped the plastic tank bodies, including the gasoline inside the tanks. At the numerous different dumpsites, Ohio EPA sampled and removed the gasoline from the tanks before the City of Columbus Refuse Division properly disposed of the tanks. O’Brien commended the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio EPA and Ohio BCI for their investigation of this case. “Each count of the indictment is an unclassified felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison and a $25,000 fine,” O’Brien stated.