Las Vegas resident Eric Russell received a six-month jail sentence and was ordered to pay $21,240 in restitution last week by a San Diego court for dumping between 1500 and 2000 gallons of raw sewage on federal property in the Imperial Valley east of San Diego.
In January of 2012, federal Bureau of Land Management authorities found Russell and his Havasu, Arizona-based All-in-One Environmental Services truck stuck off Red Cloud Road, where they "smelled a strong stench of sewage." Russell insisted "that the truck contained nothing but water, but he declined to take a sip of the 'water' himself," according to Courthouse News Service.
Per a U.S. attorney statement:
Dumping sewage in the middle of nowhere is not only disgusting and harmful to the environment but it is a federal crime that is worthy of time in custody. These defendants couldn't be bothered to do the right thing, and now they are paying a price.
Russell had been in custody since June, and his sentence equates to time served plus the fine, and he has since been released. His stepfather Dennis Johnson, who had allegedly ordered Russell to dump the waste, also pleaded guilty to illegal dumping and agreed to probation and an undisclosed fine.
Russell appears to have gotten off easy, as the maximum sentence for the illegal dumping of sewage is three years' imprisonment and a $50,000 per day fine.