Diversified Recycling:Sarah's Trading

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Investigation Details

Stakeouts - findings

Recordings "“EPA can come and close this place in 5 minutes”. It is possible he was just referring to EPA’s power in general to shut places down, but yeah it does sound like he is implying his place is not compliant.

And then of course later around 46:16 when he says “You the EPA wants just the money…” […] “They don’t help nobody, they just slow things down”. "

Late-night smashing Safeguard landfill

Legal Summary

Information was to provided to authorities throughout the winter of 2014-2015 by BAN. Freddy Cayaffa, owner of Sarah's Trading, was charged and plead guilty to not owning a permit to dispose of hazardous waste (used & broken CRTs), and charged with sending hazardous waste to an unpermitted location.

United States of America v. Freddy Cayaffa Montano

Case number: 1:15-CR-325 United States District for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division

CHARGES - Filed 8/26/15



Count One Conspiracy (18 u.s.c. § 371)

1. From in or about November 2013, through in or about December 2014, in the Northern District of Georgia, the defendant, FREDDY CAYAFFA MONTANO, did knowingly and willfully combine, conspire, confederate, agree, and have a tacit understanding with others, known and unknown, to commit an offense against the United States; namely, violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) by:

a. knowingly transporting and causing to be transported hazardous waste, specifically, used, broken cathode ray tubes ("CRTs"), to a facility which did not have a permit issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or an authorized state, to treat, store, and dispose of hazardous waste;
b. knowingly disposing of hazardous waste, specifically, CRTs, without a permit issued by the EPA, or an authorized state, to dispose of such waste.


2. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Title 42, United States Code,§ 6901 et seq., and the regulations promulgated thereunder, prohibit the treatment, storage or disposal of any identified or listed hazardous waste without a permit issued by the EPA or by an authorized state.

3. The term "hazardous waste" refers to substances and materials that are solid wastes and that are listed or identified in Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 261. The term "hazardous waste" includes used, broken cathode ray tubes (CRTs), unless certain conditions are met. 40 C.F.R. § 261.39; 40 C.F.R. § 260.10. Used, broken CRTs which do not meet the conditions of exclusion are hazardous wastes that exhibit the characteristic of toxicity, in that they contain the toxic contaminant lead. 40 C.F.R. § 261.20; 40 C.F.R. § 261.24.

4. It is a violation of RCRA, Title 42, United States Code, section 6928(d), to knowingly transport or cause to be transported any hazardous waste to a facility which does not have a permit issued by the EPA or an authorized state.

5. It is a violation of RCRA, Title 42, United States Code, Section 6928(d), to treat, store or dispose of any hazardous waste without a permit issued by the EPA or an authorized state.

Manner and Means

6. It was part of the conspiracy that the defendant, FREDDY CAYAFFA MONTANO, owned and operated Sarah's Trading, an e-waste demanufacturing facility, located in Doraville, Georgia. Sarah's Trading received e-waste, consisting primarily of desktop computers and TVs, from various businesses. The monitors of the computers and TVs, when broken, contain CRTs.

7. At all times relevant to the Information, Sarah's Trading did not have a permit issued by EPA or an authorized state to treat, store, transport, or dispose of hazardous waste, including CRTs.

8. Between November 2013 and December 2014, Sarah's Trading transported and illegally disposed of at least 600 tons of CRTs to various landfills in the Atlanta area.

Overt Act

9. On or about December 13, 2014, MONTANO caused a load of waste to be transported to a landfill in Fairburn, Georgia, a facility that did not have a permit to treat or dispose of hazardous waste, knowing that the load contained CRTs and that the CRTs would be illegally disposed of in the landfill. All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.

PLEA DEAL - Filed 9/22/15

--link to file--


1. The Defendant admits that he is pleading guilty because he is in fact guilty of the crime charged in the Information.


10. The Defendant, his counsel, and the Government, subject to approval by the Court, have agreed upon a negotiated plea in this case, the terms of which are as follows:

No Additional Charges

11. The United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia agrees not to bring further criminal charges against the Defendant related to the charges to which he is pleading guilty. The Defendant understands that this provision does not bar prosecution by any other federal, state, or local jurisdiction.

Cooperation General Requirements

19. The Defendant agrees to cooperate truthfully and completely with the Government, including being debriefed and providing truthful testimony at any proceeding resulting from or related to Defendant's cooperation. Defendant agrees to so cooperate in any investigation or proceeding as requested by the Government.

Sentencing Recommendations Judicial Economy

22. Based on the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), the parties agree to recommend that the Defendant receive a one-level downward variance at sentencing. This variance is predicated on the Defendant's expeditiously entered plea of guilty and the resulting conservation of limited judicial and prosecutorial resources.

Specific Sentence Recommendation

23. The Government agrees to recommend that the Defendant be sentenced at the low end of the adjusted guideline range.