This media release was originally issued on February 2, 2024

 

Attorney General prevails against Motion to Dismiss in criminal case against Route 6/10 construction firm and senior employee charged with illegally dumping thousands of tons of contaminated fill

 

An indictment, information, or complaint is merely an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that the Office has prevailed against a motion to dismiss in the State’s ongoing criminal case against Barletta Heavy Division, the Massachusetts-based construction firm charged with illegally dumping thousands of tons of contaminated fill during the construction of the Route 6/10 Interchange, and a senior Barletta employee, Dennis Ferreira.

 

At a hearing on February 2, 2024, in Providence Superior Court, Superior Court Justice Maureen B. Keough ruled in favor of the State, rejecting the defendant’s motion to dismiss, which allows the State to proceed in the prosecution of its case. The defendants had filed their motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 9.1 of Rhode Island Superior Court Rules of Criminal Procedure, alleging the State lacked sufficient probable cause when it charged the case by way of criminal information.

 

“I am grateful for Judge Keough’s well-reasoned decision at this stage of an important case that at its core is about environmental justice,” said Attorney General Neronha. “As alleged in the information, the defendants used the 6/10 site as an environmental dumping ground, and worse yet, they made Rhode Island a dumping ground for Massachusetts waste. The alleged actions of the defendants come at the expense of Rhode Islanders’ public health and their environment. Rhode Island’s environmental and public health laws exist for a reason, which is to keep Rhode Islanders safe, and to preserve our environment. We will continue to aggressively enforce those laws. Because Rhode Islanders deserve nothing less.”

 

The case is next scheduled for pre-trial conference on February 12, 2024.

 

The State’s memorandum in support of its objection to the defendant’s motion to dismiss can be found here.

 

The prosecution of the state case is being led by Assistant Attorney General John Moreira, Special Assistant Stephen G. Dambruch, Chief of the Criminal Division, and Sergeant Sheila Paquette of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Division of Law Enforcement.

 

About the Attorney General’s case

 

On January 18, 2023, Attorney General Neronha charged a Massachusetts-based construction firm and a former employee with illegally dumping thousands of tons of contaminated fill at project sites in Providence during the construction of the Route 6/10 Interchange construction project.

 

The Attorney General charged Barletta Heavy Division, Inc. (Barletta), with two counts of illegal disposal of solid waste, one count of operating a solid waste management facility without a license, and one count of providing a false document to a public official. Barletta is a Canton, Mass.-based construction firm, overseeing the ongoing $247 million Route 6/10 Interchange highway construction project that began in 2018.

 

The Attorney General also charged Dennis Ferreira (age 62), of Holliston, Mass., a former senior employee of Barletta, with two counts of illegal disposal of solid waste, one count of operating a solid waste management facility without a license, and one count of providing a false document to a public official.

 

More on the allegations against the defendants here.

 

Separately, on December 14, 2022, Dennis Ferreira pleaded guilty in federal court to three counts of making a false statement in connection with a federally funded highway project. As announced by U.S. Attorney Zachary Cunha, on June 20, 2023, Dennis Ferreira was sentenced to one year probation and ordered to pay a fine of $40,000. Additionally, Barletta agreed to pay a total of $1.5 million to the federal government.

 

 

Hunter Biden is accusing Republicans of pushing innuendo, distortion and sensationalism in their investigation into his father. During closed-door testimony today, Hunter Biden said his father was never involved in any of his business ventures. Republicans are searching for evidence Biden used his time as vice president to benefit his family financially.        Mitch McConnell's time as Senate GOP leader will end in November. He made the announcement today on the Senate floor, saying it's time for the next generation of leadership. The 82-year-old said he'll step down from the role after the November elections, but will serve out the remainder of his term, which ends in January 2027.        The political world is now turning its focus to Super Tuesday in the race for the White House. President Biden and former President Trump both won their parties' primaries in Michigan easily on Tuesday. Voters in 15 states and one U.S. territory will head to the polls on March 5th to cast their ballots for who they want to be the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees.        The second-largest wildfire in Texas history is burning in the state's panhandle. The Smokehouse Creek fire has burned 500-thousand acres since Monday afternoon. The fire remains completely uncontained and is expected to grow even more.        Comedian Richard Lewis is dead at the age of 76. Lewis died yesterday at his home in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack. Lewis revealed he had been living with Parkinson's disease last year. He recently played a fictional version of himself on the hit series "Curb Your Enthusiasm."        Wendy's is clarifying it has no plans to introduce surge pricing. The fast food chain said its 20-million dollar investment into digital menu boards will allow it to offer discounts to customers during slower parts of the day. It also said it will let restaurants change menu offerings throughout the day.