Feds accuse Alabama man of illegal wetlands activites

HANCOCK COUNTY — William R. “Rusty” Miller, a real estate developer from Fairhope, Ala., has been indicted on federal charges of illegal filling in wetlands near Bay St. Louis.

Prosecutors say Miller is charged with violating the Clean Water Act.

The indictment alleges that Miller excavated and filled in wetlands on 1,710 acres of undeveloped property in Hancock County. The indictment alleges that Miller knew that as much as 80 percent of the land was federally protected wetlands and could not be developed without a permit.

The indictment says Miller allegedly discharged silt, sand, vegetation, debris and other material from the Hancock County property into tributaries of Bayou Marone, a tributary of the Jourdan River.

Miller, if conviction, could be sentenced to up to three years and fined not more than $250,000.

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