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GWL man charged with dumping sewage in a storm drain

West Milford. Septic truck driver faces $10,000 in potential fines and as much as five years in prison if convicted.

| 24 Mar 2021 | 04:51

    On Tuesday, March 23, West Milford Police were dispatched on suspicious incident at the corner of William and Center streets.

    Police said a nearby resident observed a man dumping the contents of a septic truck in a storm drain that empties into West Milford Lake

    Officer Jill Brickman arrived on the scene and discovered that the truck was no longer there. She located the catch basin and found a substantial quantity of raw sewage in the catch basin.

    Neighbor gives police a photo

    While on scene, the officer was approached by a resident who gave her a photo of the involved truck and driver.

    Brickman notified Sgt. Stephen Herzog and the West Milford Detective Bureau, who then broadcast a description of the truck and driver to nearby police jurisdictions.

    Riverdale Police Officer Travis Roemmele was patrolling Route 23 when he heard the broadcast and saw a truck matching the description provided by the resident to West Milford police.

    Roemmele stopped the vehicle and detained the driver until West Milford Officer James Fulton could respond.

    The driver of the truck identified as Anthony Serpe, 54, of Greenwood Lake, N.Y., and subsequently arrested.

    He was taken back to the West Milford Police Department.

    The charges

    Further investigation conducted by West Milford Det. Nicholas Snook, Det. Donald Fantasia, and Det. Sgt. Eric Darnsteadt in conjunction with New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Det. Sgt. Steven Ogulin and Passaic County Prosecutors Office Det. Michael Borkowski led to charges against Serpe for:

    Violating the Water Pollution Control Act, a third-degree crime, a felony that carries of $10,000 in potential fines and can result in as much as five years in prison; and

    Unlicensed Collection/Transport of Solid Waste, a fourth-degree crime, a felony that carries penalties that include a state prison term of up to 18 months.

    Serpe was released on summons pending an initial appearance in Passaic County Superior Court.