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Guilty pleas in illegal shipping of hazardous waste

Three people have pleaded guilty in federal court to illegally transporting 9 million pounds of hazardous waste from Mississippi to Missouri without acquiring the proper permits.

Raymond Williams, 71, of Atlanta, the president and CEO of U.S. Technology Corp., based in Canton, Ohio, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiring to transport hazardous waste. The company also pleaded guilty.

Daryl Duncan, 37, and Penny Duncan, 60, both of Chicago, pleaded guilty last Thursday to placing a person in imminent danger by releasing hazardous waste.

U.S. Technology made plastic pellets that are used to remove paint from tanks, planes and other equipment on military bases. The company was supposed to recycle the powdery waste from the process, which is often contaminated with heavy metals such as cadmium, chromium and lead.

Prosecutors said that in 2000, U.S. Technology hired a company in Yazoo City, Mississippi, that was supposed to recycle the waste but that was not done. The owner of the recycling company later pleaded guilty to dumping the waste, according to the indictment.

In October 2013, Williams contacted Daryl Duncan and asked him to accept the hazardous waste in Berger, Missouri. Prosecutors said Darryl and Peggy Duncan created Missouri Green Materials in rural Franklin County solely to receive the waste from Mississippi. From October 2013 until December 2013, U.S. Technology and Williams shipped about 9 million pounds of hazardous waste to Missouri, according to the indictment.

Federal prosecutors said the company and Williams didn’t have the proper permits to move the hazardous waste and the Duncans didn’t have a permit to store or dispose of the waste.

The three defendants are all scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 20.

Laura Mills, who represents U.S. Technology and Williams said Tuesday she would have no comment until after the sentencing. Mark Hammer, an attorney for Daryl Duncan, said his client had worked with the similar material in the past and understood that the way it was stored rendered it hazardous. An after-hours call left for Peggy Duncan’s attorney was not returned.

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