CLINTON COUNTY, Ohio (WANE) — An Ohio man received two years in prison Tuesday for his second conviction of illegal open burnings.
Jason Wallace, 46, was found guilty in July of two counts of open burning of solid waste after being caught burning wood paneling, drywall, processed wood and plastic.
“Some people just won’t learn that if you play with fire, you are bound to get burned,” said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.
“I appreciate the help of our environmental partners at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Wilmington Fire Department and Clinton County Sheriff’s Office in halting this illegal activity.”
Wallace’s open burning charges two separates, the first of which happened in 2020 when Wallace was found burning numerous solid wastes.
In the first incident, the Wilmington Fire Department received a call on Sept. 30, 2020, about smoke that smelled “toxic.” When firefighters arrived in Cuba, they found Wallace, who claimed that he was burning wood to clean up the property.
Wilmington Lt. Brant Schmitt, however, reported seeing wood paneling, drywall, processed wood, plywood, cardboard, plastic, a nylon bag and a hairbrush in the fire, and a charred wheel rim nearby.
During Wallace’s trial, Lt. Schmitt testified that Wallace had been warned previously not to open-burn solid wastes yet ignored the warnings.
The second incident occurred in February 2021 when Wallace was again found burning plastic containers, soda cans and bottles.
Wallace’s “history of poor decision-making” and “lengthy and significant criminal history” were cited by the judge as reasons for his prison sentence.
“The court finds [the] defendant to be an environmental terrorist completely oblivious to the harm his misconduct causes to the community and his neighbors,” the judge wrote.
“The defendant shows no remorse and remains a continuing threat to the public.”