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The owner of Diamond Environmental Services, the portable toilet empire based in San Marcos, was sentenced to five months in federal prison Wednesday for illegally disposing of sludge in cities across southern California.
Arie Eric De Jong III, who pleaded guilty last year to felony charges related to the unlawful dumping scheme, was ordered to report to federal prison by 5 p.m. on July 6. He was also handed a $15,000 fine and will serve three years’ probation.
Warren - Van - Dam - Company - Officer
Warren Van Dam, the company’s chief operating officer who also admitted to charges related to the illegal dumping, received five years’ probation and 250 hours of community service after admitting similar charges. He could have received up to six months in custody.
De Jong, who could have received 30 months or more under the plea arrangement he agreed to last June, told Judge Roger T. Benitez he was sorry for his crimes.
Mistake - De - Jong - Mistake - Level
“It was a huge mistake,” De Jong said just before being sentenced. “I made a mistake I never thought would get to this level.”
De Jong’s lawyer argued in favor of probation, saying his client was a community philanthropist and quickly accepted responsibility for his actions after the company was subjected to a federal search warrant. Asssitant U.S. Attorney Melanie Pierson sought 12 months behind bars.
Thief - Pure - Simple - Pierson - Judge
“He’s a thief, pure and simple,” Pierson told the judge. “This is a scheme to dump portable waste down the sewer to save money. This is his idea. He planned it. He experimented with it. Then he implemented it across all of his facilities.”
The company, which also pleaded guilty in the case, was similarly sentenced to five years’ probation. The three defendants combined were...
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