Landfill employee receives prison sentence for scrap metal theft

Defendant headed up a group of employees who stole scrap metal from a landfill and transfer station.

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The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis has sentenced Jarrod Terrell Hazelton, a former employee at the Quarantine Road Landfill in Maryland, to two years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to unlawfully sell scrap metal from the landfill and the Northwest Transfer Station while falsely representing to the Baltimore Department of Public Works (DPW) that he was performing his job and for filing a false tax return. Judge Garbis also ordered Hazelton to pay restitution of $400,000.

DPW employees at the landfill and other trash collection sites are required to segregate the scrap metal from general refuse and to place it in separate bins provided by salvage companies.

According to his plea agreement, from 2005 until May 2015, Hazelton and other DPW employees, including Michael Bennett and supervisor William Nemec, unlawfully collected and sold scrap metal for personal gain during work hours while representing to DPW that they were doing the jobs for which they were being paid.

Hazelton and other employees used part of the sale proceeds of the stolen scrap metal to pay other DPW employees for their help in locating, setting aside, collecting and loading the scrap metal onto their trucks. Hazelton, Bennett and other landfill employees used personal cellphones to communicate when and where scrap metals were being dumped at the landfill and to coordinate their arrival at a scrap yard. Hazelton, Bennett and others uses their personal pickup trucks to transport the scrap metal to a private salvage company.

The sale of the stolen scrap metal resulted in a loss of revenue to Baltimore of at least $400,000.

To conceal the scheme, Hazelton and Bennett paid cash to Nemec and other supervisors to not report them for collecting and transporting the stolen material and to authorize and submit false time and attendance records. Hazelton prepared and submitted false time and attendance records which falsely claimed he had been working, when in fact, he was instead illegally collecting and selling the scrap metal, resulting in wages being paid to Hazelton for work he did not perform.

In addition, for tax years 2011 through 2015, Hazelton failed to report about $476,703 of income received from the illegal junking scheme.

Former DPW employees Tamara Oliver Washington, Nemec and Bennett, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the schemes. Nemec was sentenced to 78 months in prison, and Bennett to 46 months in prison. Judge Garbis also ordered Bennett to pay restitution of $400,000. Washington is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 12, 2016.

Five commercial trash haulers have pled guilty and a sixth hauler has been convicted by a federal jury, in connection with their participation in the scheme. Four of the haulers have been sentenced: Quentin Turgot Glenn, who owned and operated Glenn Services, a solid waste hauling business, was sentenced to three years in prison; Jessie Lee Wilson Jr., who was employed by Glenn Services, was sentenced to three years of probation; Adam Williams Jr., to one year in prison; and Larry Lowry, to 30 months in prison. Judge Garbis also ordered that Glenn pay restitution of $306,000, that Williams pay restitution of $900,000 and that Lowry pay restitution of $180,000.