Owner of Santa Fe Springs Trucking Company Pleads Guilty to Dumping 11,000 Gallons of Waste Soap into San Gabriel River
LOS ANGELES – A man who ran a trucking company pleaded guilty today to dumping 11,000 gallons of waste water and soap into a tributary of the San Gabriel River in Santa Fe Springs.
David Lee Flury, the 61-year-old owner and operator of Flury Industries, Inc., a Santa Fe Springs-based waste-hauling company, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of water pollution. United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson set Flury’s sentencing hearing for August 15.
The San Gabriel River, one of the three most important waterways in Southern California, flows into the Pacific Ocean at Alamitos Bay between the cities of Long Beach and Seal Beach. Flury admitted that the City of Santa Fe Springs spent nearly $750,000 cleaning up the soapy waste that he illegally dumped into Los Coyotes Creek.
“Water is a resource that we cannot afford to waste or pollute in drought-stricken Southern California,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “This defendant’s crime caused significant harm to the public, taxpayers and the environment.”
Flury had previously been indicted with multiple felony counts, including water pollution, mail and wire fraud, witness tampering, destruction of evidence and identity theft. The federal grand jury indictment alleged that Flury used interstate wire communications and the mail system to defraud approximately 17 customers out of more than $350,000. The indictment alleges that Flury told his customers that he would pick-up their various waste products and transport the waste for disposal at a facility licensed to receive and dispose of such waste products. Instead, Flury illegally dumped tens of thousands of gallons of waste products into the San Gabriel River and desert areas in Riverside County, according to the indictment.
As a result of today’s conviction, Flury faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
This case was investigated by the City of Santa Fe Springs Fire Department, the City of Santa Fe Springs Police Department, the Los Angeles Department of Public Works, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency – Criminal Investigations Division.