Businessmen Sentenced in Toxic Dumping at Long Island Sites

Testing found hazardous materials like heavy metals and pesticides at all of the dump sites, and asbestos at three

Two businessmen have been sentenced in a scheme to dump toxic materials at several sites in Suffolk County, including at a park, a veterans' housing development and a wetlands area in the same town, authoritie say. 

Thomas Datre Jr. was sentenced to a year in prison, and associate Christopher Grabe was sentenced to six months in jail and community service. 

The men previously pleaded guilty in the illegal dumping scheme.

Prosecutors have said testing found hazardous materials like the pesticide DDT, chlordane, arsenic, cobalt, lead, zinc and petroleum byproducts at all of the dump sites, including the six-acre Deer Park wetlands, adjacent to a creek in the Great South Bay watershed, a Brentwood park, a Central Islip lot and an Islandia neighborhood for war veterans. Asbestos was found at all sites but the veterans' home.

Datre's attorney, Kevin Kearon, said his client is apologetic.

"We don't believe anyone has been hurt," said Kearon. "The sites have been cleaned up and everyone will move forward."

But property owner Eric Petry said the consequences may not be immediately apparent. 

"Who knows what will happen," he said. "We were put in a situation where our lives were at risk, health was in trouble. Who knows if I'm going to develop a disease in the future, so having that in my mind everyday and not knowing the unknown is worrisome." 

The Clemente Park has been closed for three years since the toxic material was found, and reconstruction crews have started cleanup work. The town of Islip says it's working to get it reopened as soon as possible, hopefully by June. 

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