Boston, MA - A Massachusetts auto shop owner has been recently charged with dumping a large amount of used motor oil into the Merrimack River – hundreds of gallons, to be more precise. The auto shop owner has since then pleaded guilty in the eyes of the court.

The Eagle Tribune, a local newspaper covering the Merrimack Valley and surrounding areas, reported that the auto shop owner pleaded guilty last Thursday, October 18, 2018. The 53-year-old shop owner, Andres Pichardo, pleaded guilty to a few counts of the crime. Under the law system, Pichardo was charged with allegedly dumping hazardous waste into the Merrimack River in a way that is extremely dangerous for the environment. Pichardo decided to come forward and plead guilty to all crimes prior to the scheduled start of his trial.

Prosecutors stated in court that Pichardo asked one of his employees back in 2015 to dump approximately almost 3 dozen 55-gallon barrels of oil waste out. What was the problem with this request, in the eyes of the courts and the environment? Pichardo asked his employee from the Lawrence auto shop to throw away the oil waste down the drain that specifically led to the Merrimack River.

The Merrimack River is actually used by local citizens for drinkable water, and the judge made sure this was known in the court case to determine the auto shop owners sentencing. The end results for Pichardo did not look so good when this factor was stated, as this could potentially endanger local citizens that drink the water.  

After all was said and done, Pichardo was sentenced with 5 years of probation. In addition, the auto shop owner was required to pay $5,000 worth of fines to the state. The $5,000 was said to be granted to the natural resources department. Unfortunately, the sentence does not end there. The judge ordered an additional one hundred hours of community service to Pichardo.

Further information regarding Pichardo’s community service has not yet been released. Time frames have not been stated on when the community service is ordered to be done by.