Amherst Company Pleads Guilty To Criminal Contempt
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX: (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Acquest Transit, LLC, based in Amherst, NY, pleaded guilty to criminal contempt, before Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. The charge carries a maximum sentence of a fine of $500,000 and five years probation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that Acquest Transit, LLC, was established to purchase an approximately 97-acre piece of property at 10880 Transit Road in Amherst. William L. Huntress served as the sole member and manager of Acquest Transit, LLC. On January 20, 2006, the defendant purchased the site for $425,000.
In 2009, the Department of Justice instituted a civil proceeding alleging that the site purchased by Acquest contained federally protected wetlands. The civil action further alleged that the company was engaging in prohibited filling of the wetlands.
On July 15, 2009, Judge Skretny issued a preliminary injunction ordering the defendant not to place additional fill or perform any additional earthmoving work at the site. On May 25, 2010, a farmer, acting on behalf of the defendant, performed mechanized activities on the site with agricultural equipment. These actions were a violation of Judge Skretny’s order, and the defendant acted willfully in violating the order.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency under the direction of Special Agent in Charge, Vernesa Jones-Allen.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 9, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Skretny.