Nashville Man Sentenced For Environmental Crime
RALEIGH- United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III, sentenced HARVEY BRYANT PRIDGEN, 58, of Nashville, North Carolina, to six months imprisonment followed by one year supervised release that includes six months home confinement with electronic monitoring. The Court also imposed a fine of $300,000. Additionally, as part of his plea agreement, PRIDGEN made a $11,367.77 payment to the North Carolina Ecogogical System Enhancement Program – Wetlands Restoration Fund.
A Superseding Criminal Information was filed on September 5, 2012, charging PRIDGEN with unauthorized fill of wetlands, in violation of Title 33, United States Code, Section 1311(a) and 1319(c)(1)(A). On September 6, 2012, PRIDGEN pled guilty to the charge.
According to evidence presented in court, in May, 2010, an investigation was initiated into the illegal dumping of petroleum-contaminated soil in a protected wetland area in Jones County, North Carolina. It was learned that the soil was a product of an environmental clean-up project on Marine Corp Air Station New River and that in March, 2010, the Marine Corps had contracted with Osage of Virginia Inc., to conduct environmental remediation services. Osage, in turn, contracted P&F Services, Inc., to haul contaminated soil from the excavation site and ensure its proper disposal. PRIDGEN was the owner of P&F.
In April, 2010, the manager of an area of farmland contracted PRIDGEN to deliver soil to the farm to fill a low-lying area. In April, 2010 to May, 2010, an estimated 50-60 trucks loaded with contaminated soil from the Marine Corps project were dumped on the property. The contaminated soil was then pushed by bulldozers into a protected wetlands area located on the farm. In mid-May, 2010, a site inspection of the farm was performed and it was confirmed that the soil dumped was contaminated.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the United States Environmental Protection Agency – Criminal Investigation Division, the United States Department of Agriculture – Office of Inspector General, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Assistant United States Attorney Banumathi Rangarajan prosecuted the case.