A Strongsville company and the owner’s wife were ordered to pay more than $330,000 for their roles in the dumping of a drum of liquid cyanide into a storm drain that flowed into the Rocky River, killing more than 30,000 fish in April 2012.
Kennedy Mint, Inc. was ordered to make a community service payment of $300,000 to the Cleveland Metroparks, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
In addition, the court ordered Kennedy Mint to pay restitution in the amount of $30,893 — $1 for every fish killed. The company previously pleaded guilty to violating of the Clean Water Act.
The money will be paid to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and used to restock the river with steelhead trout, under the terms of the plea agreement.
Teresina Montorsi, 74, was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay a fine of $5,000. She previously pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice.
Company owner Renato Montorsi of Grafton was indicted last year, but those charges were dismissed after he was found to be incompetent to stand trial.
The Strongsville company specialized in collectible coins, but previously conducted metal plating and printing operations. 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 court documents.
On April 16, 2012, Renato Montorsi, with assistance from an employee, put two drums into a dumpster outside Kennedy Mint. On April 17, the waste hauling company declined to dispose of the contents of the dumpster because of the two drums inside.
On April 18, Montorsi moved the drums from the Dumpster and placed them next to the storm drain in the Kennedy Mint parking lot.
Later that day, Montorsi used a hammer and sharp metal tool to punch a hole near the bottom of a drum that included a poison label featuring a skull and crossbones. After punching the hole, liquid cyanide in the drum was discharged into the storm drain and eventually the East Branch of the Rocky River, according to court documents.
Around April 22, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources received reports of dead fish in the East Branch of the Rocky River. Nearly every fish was dead downstream for the next three miles.