Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker and Peter Skandalakis, District Attorney for the Coweta Judicial Circuit, jointly announced that Darryl Parker today entered a plea of guilty to an indictment charging him with three felony counts of violating state hazardous waste laws. Mr. Parker pleaded guilty to storing over 1,000 drums of ignitable and toxic hazardous waste in a warehouse he had leased in Senoia, Georgia. Mr. Parker subsequently abandoned the waste. In a negotiated plea, Chief Judge William F. Lee, Jr., Coweta Superior Court, sentenced Mr. Parker to three years to serve one year in prison on each count. The counts will run concurrently. Mr. Parker was further ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,250.00 to Mr. Paul McKnight, the owner of the warehouse where the drums were stored, and to cooperate fully with state and federal authorities. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has secured the 1,000 drums so that they no longer present an immediate danger and is arranging for their proper disposal. The investigation of this case involved the State Environmental Protection Division (EPD) and the federal EPA’s Criminal Investigative Division. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Lee Ann de Grazia, who was appointed special prosecutor by District Attorney Peter Skandalakis.
District Attorney Skandalakis said: "This case sends a message that those who would commit environmental crimes and jeopardize the health of all the citizens will be vigorously prosecuted." He added, "We will continue to prosecute environmental crimes to protect the peoples’ health in our district."
Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker said, "This is the first conviction for environmental crimes in the State of Georgia. We are pleased with the federal, state, and local cooperative efforts in obtaining this conviction. The message is clear: those who commit environmental crimes in Georgia will be prosecuted."