FARMINGTON — A 52-year-old Farmington man was sentenced Monday to one year of probation and 100 hours of community service for his role in dumping septic waste on government property in Crouch Mesa.
Alex Wiggins and his brother Anthony Wiggins, 55, also of Farmington, were indicted in federal court last June for conspiracy to depredate government property, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. Anthony Wiggins, operator of the business, A-1 Septic, and his brother were accused of dumping liquid waste pumped from residential septic tanks onto federal land in the Crouch Mesa Area.
The Bureau of Land Management worked with the San Juan County Sheriff's Office to investigate the illegal dumping. According to the release, a resident reported seeing a sludge-like substance on a remote rural road near Crouch Mesa in March 2013. A federal hazardous-materials team determined that it was septic waste and covert cameras were set up at the site. The Wiggins were photographed dumping the waste onto federal land on March 6 and March 9.
Anthony Wiggins pleaded guilty to depredation of government property in October 2013. He was sentenced to one year probation and was ordered to pay $2,193.13 in restitution to the Bureau of Land Management to cover the cost of cleaning up the site.
He admitted in the agreement that he and his brother dumped waste at the site on a number of occasions between February and April 2013.
Alex Wiggins entered a guilty plea in May to a misdemeanor offense.
According to the sentencing memorandum for Anthony Wiggins, the men would have faced more severe penalties if rain had not swept away much of the waste, reducing the cost of the clean up. The site was treated with chlorine and heavy rains last summer washed away much of the waste. A test administered in October 2013 determined that the dumping area had acceptable levels of nitrate.