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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Tar dumper gets one year in prison

By Ken Kobayashi
Advertiser Courts Writer

A 35-year-old man has been sentenced to a year in jail for three felonies, including dumping up to a gallon of tar into a storm drain at Campbell Industrial Park in 2004, according to state prosecutors.

Jerry G. Souza II of Pearl City was sentenced by Circuit Judge Richard Pollack last week after earlier pleading guilty to the charges as part of a plea agreement. Souza was also placed on three years' probation.

The other two charges were for a stolen truck case and the theft of a 40-foot-long metal beam that belonged to the state, Deputy Attorney General Marcus Sierra said.

Sierra said about a quart to a gallon of tar was dumped into the drain after Souza and a codefendant took a derelict tar truck to be recycled, but were told they first had to drain the tar.

An alert person saw the two draining tar from the truck and called 911, Sierra said.

Sierra said some people don't see the harm in dumping paint, oil, pesticides and other chemicals into storm drains that are usually dry. But he said when it rains, the water carries the pollutants into rivers and oceans.

Souza's attorney Jerry Wilson said the plea agreement was "fair and reasonable." Wilson said his client and the codefendant cleaned up the tar at the direction of the police.

Souza's co-defendant, Michael Nueva, 48, earlier pleaded no contest to the tar dumping charge.

He was given a chance to have the charge dropped by staying out of trouble for three years, serving 13 days in jail and performing 200 hours of community service, Sierra said.

Reach Ken Kobayashi at kkobayashi@honoluluadvertiser.com.