Brine dumper’s sentencing delayed

Staff report


The sentencing of the man who pleaded guilty to dumping oil-field waste into a Mahoning River tributary late last year and early this year has been postponed to 9:30 a.m. Jan. 24.

U.S. District Judge Donald C. Nugent granted a defense request to postpone the sentencing of Michael P. Guesman, 34, of Cortland, which had been set for today.

Guesman had pleaded guilty Aug. 29 to one count of violating the federal Clean Water Act by dumping brine and drilling mud down a storm drain.

Guesman’s boss, Ben Lupo, 62, of Poland, and Lupo’s company, Hardrock Excavating LLC, have pleaded innocent to the same charge.

In his written plea agreement, Guesman says he dumped the waste from 20,000-gallon storage tanks on Salt Springs Road in Youngstown at Lupo’s direction on 24 nights beginning last Dec. 12.

Guesman’s Cleveland lawyer, Carolyn M. Kucharski, asked that Guesman’s sentencing be delayed because Lupo and Hardrock haven’t entered guilty pleas or gone to trial.

The U.S. attorney has agreed to recommend favorable consideration for Guesman at his sentencing in exchange for his acceptance of responsibility and “substantial assistance” to the prosecution.

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