Thomas Datre Jr., will be sentenced this morning in Central Islip, Suffolk County DA Spota said.
New Cassel, NY - April 27, 2017 - A Suffolk hauler who last year pleaded guilty to four felony charges for the illegal dumping of tens of thousands of tons of contaminated construction debris containing contaminants classified as “acutely hazardous” or “hazardous” will be sentenced this morning, Thursday, April 27, in Central Islip, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
Since Thomas Datre Jr.’s guilty plea thirteen months ago, State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho has monitored the progress of the defendant’s compliance with the court’s demand that he assist in the cleanup of the tons of contaminated rubble from New York City construction sites discovered on a wetlands area in Deer Park, a one-acre corner lot in Central Islip, in Roberto Clemente Town Park in Brentwood and in a six-home subdivision in Islandia built for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans by the Long Island Builder’s Institute.
Among the victims who will speak at Thursday morning’s sentencing: Eric Petrie, a war veteran who is a homeowner at the dumping site on Veterans Way in Islandia, Glen Gruder, who will speak on behalf of the Long Island Builder’s Institute, the builder of Mr. Petrie’s home and five other affordable houses for war vets, and April Maisie of Wantagh, the owner of the contaminated wetlands property in Deer Park on Brook Avenue.
State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho has scheduled the sentencings to begin promptly at 9:30 am tomorrow and if necessary will move the sentencings to the more spacious D-11 courtroom in the First District Courthouse on Carleton Avenue in Central Islip.
In the sixth week of his trial last year, Datre Jr. pleaded guilty to four felony charges of Endangering the Public Health, Safety or the Environment in the third degree, and four charges of operating a solid waste management facility without a permit. The sentences on those convictions will be served concurrently.
In addition to Datre Jr.’s guilty plea, the family-run business, 5 Brothers Farming Corp. pleaded guilty to four counts of endangering the environment in the third degree. Datre Jr.’s co-defendant, Christopher Grabe, 39, of Islandia Recycling, pleaded guilty last year to two counts of endangering the environment at Clemente Park and at the Central Islip dumping site.
District Attorney Spota said prosecutors will recommend a prison term of up to three years for Datre Jr., and that Grabe, should be sentenced to six months in jail and five years’ probation. Grabe also pleaded guilty to a tax fraud felony filed by the district attorney’s Tax Crimes Unit in 2016 and is now required to pay approximately $57,000 in unpaid taxes, interest and fines. District Attorney Spota said the dumping investigation which began in April of 2014 uncovered a scheme by the defendants that was “based in greed and left Suffolk residents with an environmental catastrophe.”
Also expected to be sentenced tomorrow by Justice Camacho will be the Datre firm “Daytree at Cortland Square Inc.” for the firm’s failure to pay prevailing wages to workers performing tree and stump removal for the Town of Islip.
For the plea to the misdemeanor charge of failure to pay the prevailing wage, nine workers who did not receive the prevailing rate of pay for working on a taxpayer-funded project will be paid by the company tens of thousands of dollars they are due in wages earned in 2013 and 2014, money they did not receive while working on the Islip Town contract.