Illegal Hazardous Waste Transport and Stolen Firearm Possession Result in 63-Month Term

Illegal Hazardous Waste Transporter Sentenced for Environmental and Firearm Crimes:

Anthony Shane Gilstrap received a 63-month prison sentence today for violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) through the illegal transportation of hazardous waste in Hawaii.

Additionally, he faced charges for possessing a stolen firearm in Kansas.

Gilstrap, who pleaded guilty to these crimes in April, will also serve three years of supervised release, during which he will participate in mental health, cognitive behavior, and substance abuse treatment programs.

RCRA Violation in Hawaii:

Hazardous Waste Removal without Safeguards:

According to court documents, Gilstrap violated the RCRA in Hawaii by undertaking the removal of 35 drums containing hazardous waste, specifically perchloroethylene (perc), from a dry-cleaning operation in Honolulu in January 2017.

In this process, he offered to remove the illegally stored solvent at a significant discount but failed to employ required safeguards, such as an RCRA hazardous waste manifest, which traces waste to its final disposal site.

Subsequently, Gilstrap moved the drums to a warehouse under his control, lacking the necessary permit for months.

When government officials inquired about the drums, he forged a manifest, falsely claiming shipment to Oregon.

The company owning the dry-cleaning operation and its Hawaii regional manager have already pleaded guilty and received sentences.

Eventually, the drums of waste perc were appropriately disposed of.

Stolen Firearm Possession in Kansas:

Traffic Stop Reveals Additional Crime:

During a routine traffic stop in Kansas, law enforcement discovered a stolen handgun in Gilstrap’s truck.

Gilstrap admitted to the firearm being stolen.

The charges related to the stolen handgun and RCRA violations were consolidated for Gilstrap’s plea and subsequent sentencing.

Commentary on Environmental Protection Laws and Criminal Activity:

Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim, representing the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, emphasized the importance of laws like the RCRA in safeguarding people and the environment from hazardous waste exposure.

He expressed relief that this unusual case was resolved without prolonged and severe harm.

Environmental Protection Agency’s Commitment to Public Safety:

Assistant Special Agent in Charge Benjamin Carr of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) criminal enforcement program in Hawaii highlighted the serious public health danger posed by the illegal storage and transportation of hazardous waste.

He emphasized that the sentencing demonstrates the commitment of EPA and law enforcement partners to protecting the public from criminal activities that jeopardize human health and the environment.

Legal Proceedings and Investigative Entities:

U.S. District Judge Eric F. Melgren for the District of Kansas issued the 63-month prison sentence.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were involved in the investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Counsel Krishna Dighe of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section, Assistant U.S. Attorney Oladotun O. Odeyemi for the District of Kansas, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg Paris Yates for the District of Hawaii.

Conclusion:

The sentencing of Anthony Shane Gilstrap serves as a stern reminder of the legal consequences associated with environmental crimes and firearm violations.

The collaborative efforts of law enforcement and the commitment to enforcing environmental protection laws underscore the importance of maintaining a safe and responsible approach to hazardous waste handling.

The case reflects the justice system’s dedication to addressing unconventional environmental offenses and ensuring the protection of public health and the environment.

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