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Baldwin Park trucker accused of recycling fraud at state border

State officials on Tuesday announced the arrest of a Baldwin Park trucker who they said hauled more than $13,000 worth of out-of-state bottles and cans into California in a case of recycling fraud.

On Jan. 15, agents with the Department of Food and Agriculture arrested Daniel Rosales, 45, after inspecting his 53-foot semi-trailer, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) said in a statement. Rosales had been stopped at a border checkpoint in Blythe, officials said.

Inside Rosales’ truck, which was marked as BNS Trucking out of Baldwin Park, agents discovered 6,622 pounds of aluminum and 2,606 pounds of plastic beverage containers with a potential California Redemption Value of $13,550, according to CalRecycle, which has administrative authority over the state’s beverage container recycling program.

Rosales produced a bill of lading — a document issued by a carrier that details a shipment of merchandise — that indicated he was hauling bottle caps, officials said. He was unable to produce an imported materials report, which is legally required for anyone transporting used beverage containers into California, CalRecycle said.

Rosales entered the state from Arizona, according to Michelle Gregory, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Justice, which investigates and prosecutes criminal cases on behalf of CalRecycle.

Rosales was arrested and his truck impounded, officials said. He was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Riverside County Superior Court in Indio on charges of felony recycling fraud and attempted grand theft. He faces six months to three years in prison if convicted, CalRecycle said.

“Truck drivers need to understand that CalRecycle will not tolerate recycling fraud, which essentially steals money from the honest Californians,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said in a prepared statement.

Consumers pay California Redemption Value (CRV) when they purchase beverages from a retailer, and receive CRV refunds when they redeem the containers at a recycling center.

“Anyone who helps these criminal organizations haul out-of-state used beverage containers into our state to make fraudulent CRV redemptions will be caught and punished,” Smithline said.

In 2015, CalRecycle and its enforcement partners arrested eight drivers who brought 85,646 pounds of out-of-state used beverage containers into California, with a potential redemption value of more than $108,000, said Lance Klug, a CalRecycle spokesman.

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