A man who allegedly released hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel onto Clinton streets has been charged with a felony after turning himself into authorities Tuesday afternoon.
Ray Thompson, 45, of 1705 Pope Road, Clinton, was charged with dumping toxic substances and taken to the Sampson County Magistrate’s Office, where he was given a $7,500 unsecured bond, a trial date of July 20 and then released.
Clinton police detective Alpha Clowney said Wednesday morning that more charges are expected in the case, but she did not elaborate on those charges.
According to reports, Thompson attempted to sell a 500-gallon tin container that he was pulling on a trailer behind his 1998 Chevrolet Blazer at a local salvage company Monday, but officials there would not buy it because it was filled with at least 300 gallons of fuel.
Instead of taking the container and emptying it properly, the man took a pick axe and cut eight holes into the back of the tin, allowing the fuel to seep out as he headed back into Clinton, leaving a fuel trail for miles as he traveled.
Sgt. R. Carter of the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office noticed the spill, followed up and spotted the vehicle in the parking lot of the Tropicana Supermarket, located at 500 Warsaw Road.
“It (the gas) was still leaking out all over the place when I pulled up behind it,” Carter said Wednesday. “I told him to drop it off the hitch so it would stop leaking from the back because it really was a mess.”
Thompson was not alone in the truck, Carter said.
An environmental crew spent the latter part of Monday and Tuesday cleaning up the spill, including flushing out storm drains and digging out a small portion of dirt on the side of N.C. Hwy. 24.
Carter estimated the cost of the clean-p to be approximately $75,000 to $100,000.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.