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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 25, 2014

Farmington Man Sentenced to Probation for Dumping Residential Septic Tank Waste onto Federal Lands

ALBUQUERQUE –Alex Wiggins, 52, of Farmington, N.M., was sentenced this morning to a year of probation for his misdemeanor conviction on a depredation of government property charge.  Wiggins also was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service. 

Alex Wiggins and his brother Anthony Wiggins, 55, also a Farmington resident, were indicted in June 2013, and charged with conspiracy to depredate government property by dumping liquid waste pumped from residential septic tanks onto federal land in San Juan County, N.M., that was administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  The indictment also charged the two men with three counts of depredation of government property for dumping residential septic tank waste onto federal lands on three separate occasions in March 2013.  At the time of the crimes charged in the indictment, Anthony Wiggins was the primary operator of A-1 Septic, a residential septic tank waste disposal company in Farmington, and Alex Wiggins worked for his brother’s company.

The investigation of this case began in March 2013, after a private citizen reported seeing a black sludge-like substance on a remote rural road in San Juan County to the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office (SJCSO).  After it was determined that the property at which the substance was dumped was federal land, the BLM partnered with the SJCSO to conduct the investigation.  During the investigation, covert cameras photographed a septic vacuum pumper truck and the defendants as they dumped residential septic tank waste onto BLM administered federal lands on March 6 and 9, 2013.

Alex Wiggins entered a guilty plea on May 27, 2014, to a misdemeanor information charging him with depredation of government property.  In his plea agreement, Alex Wiggins admitted that, while working for his brother’s company, he and his brother dumped several truckloads of raw sewage onto land owned and administered by BLM for the purpose of disposing of the waste.  He acknowledged knowing that this was not a proper way to dispose of the septic waste and that it was in fact illegal.

Anthony Wiggins entered a guilty plea in Oct. 2013, to Count 3 of the indictment which charged him with the felony offense of depredation of government property.  He was sentenced on May 30, 2014, to a year of probation and was ordered to pay $2,193.13 in restitution to the BLM to cover the cost for cleaning up the septic waste.

This case was investigated by the BLM and the SCJSO and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean J. Sullivan.

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Updated January 26, 2015