Anthony Grazio, a major player in an illegal waste dumping scheme, was sentenced to two to four years in state prison Monday, September 23, by New York State Supreme Court Justice Timothy Mazzei. Grazio, 45, of Smithtown had pleaded guilty to four felony charges, two for criminal mischief, and two for the reckless release of acutely hazardous material back in May. Also known as “Rock,” Grazio had been facing 30 felonies, along with numerous misdemeanors, of which he pleaded guilty to two, including conspiracy.
He was indicted along with 29 other individuals and nine corporations last November, the culmination of an investigation labeled “Operation Pay Dirt” by Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini. Grazio’s role in the operation was to secure locations where trucking companies could illegally dispose of solid waste. Operation Pay Dirt was a joint investigation run jointly by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Suffolk County Police Department, and the DA’s office.
In some cases, Grazio duped owners of construction sites who had responded to advertisements on Craigslist, among other channels, by promising clean fill, only to have contaminated waste mixed in.
There were 21 locations in Suffolk, along with three in Nassau County. One of the Suffolk County sites was 10 Blackwatch Court in Southampton. Another was 306 Flanders Road in Riverside, with a third site at 230 Landing Lane in Greenport.
“Today’s sentencing sends a clear message: it does not pay to commit environmental crimes in Suffolk County any longer,” Sini said. “We are going to dedicate the necessary resources and work with all of our partners to aggressively investigate and prosecute environmental crimes.”