A Glendale man convicted of illegally burying asbestos in Canyon Country was sentenced Tuesday to two years in state prison, which the prosecutor called an unusually stiff sentence for an environmental crime.
"I really have only heard of four or five other cases where we, state prosecutors, obtained a state prison sentence," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Robert Brodney, who has five years experience in his office's environmental crimes division.
Wesley Mitchell Burnett, 33, was found guilty in April of three felony counts of dumping the hazardous waste at a site called Crocker Ranch. San Fernando Superior Court Judge William McLaughlin passed sentence and ordered Burnett, who was free on bail, into custody. He also fined Burnett $21,000.
Burnett owned Cal Coast Construction, a Canyon Country company that handled asbestos removal, primarily at government-owned buildings, Brodney said.
A jury convicted Burnett of transporting and illegally dumping asbestos at the site near Warmuth Road and Rolling Hills Avenue on two occasions in 1986. The waste was buried by employees of his firm, and was not uncovered until soil used to cover about 350 bags of the hazardous material began to erode, Brodney said.