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Former Sioux City council member pleads guilty to environmental crimes

This news story was published on March 23, 2021.
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SIOUX CITY – A man who unlawfully stored and transported hazardous waste pled guilty March 19, 2021, in federal court in Sioux City.

Aaron Rochester, 47, from Sioux City, Iowa, was convicted of one count of unlawful storage of hazardous waste and one count of transportation of hazardous waste.

At the plea hearing, Rochester admitted that beginning on or about June 2015 through about January 2017, as owner and operator of Recycletronics, he knowingly and unlawfully stored and transported hazardous waste, namely CRTs (cathode ray tubes) and leaded glass from televisions and computers at various facilities in and around Sioux City, Iowa.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Rochester remains free on bond previously set pending sentencing. Rochester faces a possible maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment, a maximum fine of up to $50,000 for each day of the violation, and three years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

“If improperly managed, hazardous waste can pose serious risks to human health and the environment,” said Lance Ehrig, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s criminal enforcement program in Iowa. “The defendant’s illegal transportation and storage practices significantly threatened and burdened nearby communities and the environment. Today’s plea demonstrates that those who knowingly violate our nation’s environmental laws will be held responsible for their crimes.”

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