Man sentenced to 6 months in jail for dumping paint into storm drain

A Cypress man was sentenced to six months in jail today for illegally dumping latex paint and drywall into the Bouton Creek storm drain near Atherton Street and Clark Avenue in May, the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s office announced.

Antonio Palma Pineda, 53, was also sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay restitution of $1,963 to the city of Long Beach for clean-up costs. A judge also ruled he must pay court fines and penalties of $2,310, according to a news release. He was also convicted of contracting without a license.

Pineda was caught after a bus driver saw him dump a white liquid into the paved creek, which drains into the Los Cerritos Channel and then into the Pacific Ocean, according to authorities.

When firefighters went to investigate, they also saw him dumping the paint as well as drywall debris over a fence along the creek, according to the city prosecutor’s office. Authorities did not know the exact amount of paint Pineda dumped into the creek, but City Prosecutor Doug Haubert said he had several one-gallon paint containers with him.

“Most people don’t think that dumping paint in a drain will end in jail,” Haubert said. “Our storm drains lead to the ocean and toxic materials dumped into the storm drain can cause illness to people and destroy our environment. We live in a coastal community and crimes like this affect all of us.”

Anyone who sees illegal dumping should report it immediately, his office said.

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Valerie Osier is a breaking news and crime reporter for the Long Beach Post. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from Cal State University, Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband, Steven, and her cat/child, Jones.