A federal grand jury in Hawaii returned an indictment against Anthony Shane Gilstrap, 54, for violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) by transporting hazardous waste without a required manifest, falsifying a hazardous waste manifest, and storing hazardous waste without a permit. He is also charged with obstructing an agency proceeding.
In January 2017, Gilstrap, who has lived in Hawaii, Georgia and Kansas, agreed to remove drums of the RCRA-listed hazardous waste perchloroethylene (perc) from Young Laundry & Dry Cleaning (YLD), owned by U.S. Dry Cleaning Corp. (USDC). YLD’s Regional Manager hired Gilstrap to remove the drums for $15,000, which was less than half the price that legitimate hazardous waste disposal companies had quoted to YLD. Gilstrap removed the drums to his warehouse, which was not a permitted storage or treatment site, without required RCRA manifests. Furthermore, both Gilstrap and USDC produced false manifests to put the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) off the trail. When an HDOH inspector later tried to locate the missing drums, Gilstrap lied about their whereabouts.
The YLD Regional Manager who hired Gilstrap has pleaded guilty before the U.S. District Court of the District of Hawaii to causing the transportation of hazardous waste without a manifest and received a sentence of probation.
On Oct. 5, Gilstrap was indicted in the District of Kansas for possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.
“Perc is a dangerous toxic substance, and stashing drums of it at a cut rate price with no plan for proper final disposal, is a gross dereliction of care and violates the law,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “With hazardous waste, the department will aggressively prosecute a knowing failure to do what is right.”
“Hazardous waste manifests are the receipts that track how dangerous wastes are handled,” said the Acting U.S. Attorney Judith A. Philips for the District of Hawaii. “Here, their absence, and the efforts of HDOH and EPA to close the loop, led to the accountability we see today. We will follow through and hold the defendant to account for his illegal transportation and storage as well as his attempts to cover that up.”
“The hazardous waste involved in this case posed serious public health and environmental dangers,” said Acting Assistant Administrator Larry Starfield for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “EPA and our law enforcement partners are committed to holding responsible parties accountable for actions that put communities at risk.”
Gilstrap will be scheduled for his initial court appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. If convicted, he faces a penalty of up to 13 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case was investigated by the EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division. Environmental Crimes Section Senior Trial Attorney Kris Dighe is prosecuting the case jointly with Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg Paris Yates for the District of Hawaii.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.