SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A former Sioux City City Council member pled guilty on Friday in federal court to environmental crimes.
Court documents said former councilman Aaron Rochester, 47, of Sioux City, was convicted of one count of unlawful storage of hazardous waste and one count of transportation of hazardous waste.
At his plea hearing, Rochester admitted that starting on or about June 2015 through around January 2017, that 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, as owner and operator of Recycletronics.
“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. [Friday’s] plea demonstrates that those who knowingly violate our nation’s environmental laws will be held responsible for their crimes.”
Officials said his sentencing will be set after a presentence report is prepared, and he remains free on bond previously set pending the sentencing.
Rochester faces a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum fine of up to $50,000 for each day of the violation, and three years of supervised release following any imprisonment.