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NJ man pleads guilty to illegal dumping scheme that contaminated Frankfort farm field

By By DAVE DELLECESE

FRANKFORT, NY (WKTV) - A New Jersey man has pleaded guilty in Federal Court to charges of conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with the illegal dumping of contaminated waste from New Jersey and New York City in a Frankfort farm field.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, John Deck, 55, of Norwood, NJ, pleaded guilty in Federal Court on Tuesday, September 8, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Deck was the sole owner and operator of a company called J.A.D., Inc - a corporation organized under the laws of New Jersey. Authorities said the company acted as a "truck broker," which means it arranged for independently-owned, tractor-trailers to transport material between and/or to solid waste management facilities.

Officials said Deck and his company were part of a massive illegal asbestos-contaminated dump site in Frankfort, created in an open farm field, adjacent to the Mohawk River.

Federal prosecutors said that roughly 60 million pounds of asbestos-contaminated material was dumped in the field between July and October 2006.

Officials with the Department of Environmental Conservation in Watertown said the site is located at 3720 South Side Road in Frankfort.

Pleading guilty, Deck admitted that he obtained a false and fraudulent DEC permit-drafted by other co-conspirators, who officials say remain under investigation. Deck then sen the false permit by fax to multiple trucking companies who then hauled the contaminated waste from New Jersey and New York City to the Frankfort farm field.

The illegal landfill has been designated a Superfund site, and will now cost many millions of dollar to clean up due to the illegal dumping.

Asbestos has been determined to cause lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma, an invariably fatal disease, and the Environmental Protection Agency has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos.

Deck is scheduled to be sentenced on January 8, 2010, in Federal Court in Utica. He faces a maximum possible prison sentence of 5 years and a fine of $250,000. He will also be ordered to pay restitution related to the cost of the cleanup.

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