A Cypress man accused of transporting and disposing of hazardous waste under another man's permit pleaded guilty to the felony counts Tuesday and was sentenced to two years in state prison, the toughest sentence yet imposed on an illegal hauler, authorities said.
After his court appearence, Ronald Paul Martin, 47, was taken into custody by Los Angeles County authorities on suspicion of illegally dumping 12 drums of hazardous materials near a Long Beach auto body repair yard three weeks ago, authorities said.
Orange County Deputy Dist. Atty. Christopher P. Kralick said Martin entered the guilty plea to three felony counts of illegal transport and disposal of hazardous waste at a preliminary hearing Tuesday in West Orange County Municipal Court in Westminster. Sixteen additional counts were dismissed, Kralick said.
Martin was arrested in Anaheim last Aug. 3 after a lengthy investigation and surveillance of his activities by the Los Angeles County Hazardous Materials Task Force and Orange County agencies. Officials said he had come to their attention while using another man's expired carrier permit to haul hazardous waste from at least seven Southland companies.
On Aug. 2, authorities watched Martin pick up drums and cans full of hazardous organic solvents and styrene resin mixtures from a Westminster metals company and leave them in his vehicle overnight in the Medical Center of Garden Grove parking lot.
The following day, Martin drove to Intercem Co. in Anaheim, where he began unloading more than 20 55-gallon drums and cans into Intercem's storage area, apparently without the firm's knowledge.
Investigators have said none of the companies Martin serviced were aware that he was not a licensed hauler of hazardous materials.