Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations
May 17, 2012: NY Man Indicted on Charges of Illegal Disposal of a Hazardous Waste
Richard S. Hartunian, United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York, announced today the Indictment of Martin S. Kimber, 59, of Ruby, New York. Kimber is charged in three counts with violations of the Chemical Weapon statute (counts one and two) which prohibits individuals from possessing, stockpiling, or using a toxic chemical as a weapon, and with a violation of the Consumer Product Tampering statute (count three).
The Indictment alleges that in December 10, 2010 and December 23, 2010, Kimber received medical care at the Albany Medical Center and that, on January 24, 2011, he wrote to complain about having to pay for his treatment. It further alleges that on February 22, 2011, the Albany Medical Center Associate Medical Director wrote back and explained why the bills were appropriate, and discussed the outcome associated with the defendant having provided inaccurate information about his injury, and his decision not to complete the care proscribed by his treating physician.
The Indictment alleges that on March 2, 2012 Kimber spread mercury, a known toxic substance, throughout various areas of the Albany Medical Center cafeteria, including in and around food served to customers, and on and around heating elements use in food preparation. It further describes three previous instances, March 28, 2011, April 11, 2011, June 23, 2011, where mercury was spread around the hospital on days when New York State toll records establish the defendant traveled from his home in Ruby, NY and exited at the get-off for the Albany Medical Center. The Indictment alleges that on March 2, 2012, Kimber’s activities were captured on hospital video surveillance cameras in the Albany Medical Center cafeteria-- where mercury was subsequently found --including on food consumed by at least one patron. Canisters of mercury were subsequently found by law enforcement officers in Kimber’s home and car. The person who ate the contaminated food was subsequently treated in the hospital’s emergency room. An emergency chemical response team at the Albany Medical Center responded promptly to the mercury contamination on each occasion , and removed it from the premises.
The defendant was arrested on April 25, 2012 and is in jail, being held in pretrial detention. On March 2, 2012, following a detention hearing, United States Magistrate Judge Andrew T. Baxter determined that Kimber poses a serious danger to the community and that no combination of release conditions could be established to permit him to be released without continuing to pose a danger to the community.
A complaint filed in support of an arrest warrant was unsealed on April 26, 2012. It alleged that a search warrant was executed at Kimber’s house and automobile. Besides the seizure of two canisters of mercury, the complaint further alleged that approximately 21 guns were removed from Kimber’s residence. Literature reflecting sympathy for domestic terrorism (The Turner Diaries) was observed during the search, which states on the cover page, “THIS BOOK CONTAINS RACIST PROPAGANDA” and “THE FBI SAID IT WAS THE BLUEPRINT FOR THE OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING.” Searching officers further observed a Nazi swastika on a wall of Kimber’s home.
The two Chemical Weapons counts each contain a maximum possible term of life in jail, and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross loss to any victim. The consumer product tampering charge contains a maximum possible penalty of 10 years in jail, and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross loss to any victim.
Mercury is a known hazardous substance that has been very well studied. Among other things, mercury is a human neurotoxin that kills nerve cells, can result in brain and lung damage, respiratory failure, ataxia, speech impairment, constriction of the visual field, hearing loss and somatosensory change. Mercury is readily absorbed through unbroken skin, by intestinal absorption after ingestion, and by inhalation of vapors. It accumulates in the body and can cause damage to internal organs including kidneys.
The allegations in the Indictment and criminal complaint are mere accusations and all persons are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Environmental Protection Agency, Food & Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations, and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistance has been provided by the Towns of Albany and Ulster Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Craig Benedict. Questions may be directed to AUSA Benedict at 315-448-0672.