Couple Accused of Killing Fish Appear in Court

Montorsis face felony charges for allegedly dumping cyanide into water


The in April were set to be arraigned Thursday, but only one entered a plea. 

Teresina Montorsi, 74, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court and was released on $25,000 unsecured bond, according to Mike Tobin, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice.

Renato Montorsi's lawyer asked for a competency hearing, so that is being scheduled following medical exams, Tobin said.

Renato Montorsi, 79, is accused of draining a barrel of liquid cyanide into a storm sewer near his Strongsville business. The toxin allegedly flowed into the Rocky River and killed some 30,000 fish along a 3-mile stretch, from around Bonnie Park in Strongsville through Berea and Middleburg Heights.

The couple have been indicted on charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Renato Montorsi also is accused of violating the Clean Water Act.

Montorsi owns Kennedy Mint Inc., a collectible coin business at 12102 Pearl Rd. in Strongsville, but previously conducted metal plating and printing operations at the location, the indictment says. 

The East Branch of the Rocky River is near the Kennedy Mint facility and storm water from that location’s parking lot flows into the East Branch of the Rocky River, according to the indictment.

U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach has said Renato Montorsi tried to dispose of a 55-gallon drum of cyanide in a municipal trash receptacle, but the garbage collectors refused to take the barrel, which was marked as a hazardous chemical. 

Federal law requires special disposal of hazardous chemicals.

Instead, Dettelbach said Montorsi "figured out his own way of disposing of the chemical" -- he rolled the drum to a storm sewer, used a spike to punch a hole in the side and let it drain into the sewer.

The sewer carried the liquid poison to the Rocky River.

Teresina Montorsi allegedly participated in the cover-up by helping hide the barrel. The couple lives in Grafton.

John Wells October 25, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Throw the book at them, don't care how old they are. Of course, if Romney wins, hey will be pardoned and this will be the new accepted waste disposal practice since EPA will be null & void.
Dr. Roseann M. Cyngier October 25, 2012 at 11:45 PM
One can be grateful that none of the fisherman caught the poisoned trout or other fish to eat. This could easily have escalated from fish murder to homicide as lots of people fish in that area.
lyn October 26, 2012 at 12:34 PM
"competency hearing"? Yep, just like Demanjuk - he was fine when caught on video until he had to go to court. I guess if you are old its a play on sympathy or the crime shouldn't matter. And like that Seinfeld episode when Uncle Leo says "I'm an old man! I'm confused!" Give them a cozy cot and a few nice meals - all with fish that they killed.


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