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Felony Charges Against Alleged Illegal Dumpers Dismissed

Gabrielle Fonrouge

A father and son who are accused of illegally dumping hazardous debris in and around the Town of Islip have had five felony counts against them dismissed by a judge on Long Island.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office made a motion to drop the two counts on the opening day of jury selection on Wednesday in the trial of Thomas Datre and his son, Thomas Jr.

The two men still face several felonies, including charges related to dumping insecticide, as well as criminal mischief.

The metal in the dumped debris was cobalt, and its listing in the state code is identical to that of another hazardous material. Because of that discrepancy, the state is not able to prove in court that cobalt was in the debris.

Cobalt is commonly found in paints, ceramics, and batteries.

A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office said in an email that because of an error in state code involving overlapping designations of hazardous materials, the DA would be unable to properly charge the Datres.

The Datres were among six individuals indicted in 2014 for their roles in allegedly dumping 50,000 tons of contaminated debris at four neighborhood sites in the Town of Islip.