Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney today announced that Fabio Monasterolo, 51, and his wife, Judith Monasterolo, 55, of Holbrook, pleaded guilty to Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree for unlawfully disposing broken cinderblocks and concrete near tidal wetlands in the Town of Brookhaven.
“These defendants would have escaped responsibility for dumping in our wetlands had it not been for a concerned citizen who reported them to the Town of Brookhaven after capturing them on camera during their illegal acts,” said District Attorney Tierney. “Thanks to our partnership with the Town through our Quality-of-Life Town Coalition initiative, this couple is now an example of what will happen to those who think they can turn Suffolk County’s vibrant ecosystem into their personal junkyard.”
“This couple decided to make our wetlands their personal dumping ground. As I said when they were caught on camera: we have no tolerance for illegal dumpers, and when we catch you, we will prosecute you. I want to thank District Attorney Tierney for pursuing this case and prosecuting the Monasterolos and for helping us protect our environment,” said Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine. “Environmental crimes are not victimless – they are crimes against our entire community, and future generations that are harmed by polluters and illegal dumpers. We are committed to protecting the environment and will not tolerate dumping anywhere.”
According to court documents and the defendants’ admission during their guilty plea allocutions, on April 23, 2023, at approximately 2:03 p.m., the Monasterolos illegally dumped solid waste, which included broken chunks of concrete and cinderblocks, from their black Dodge Ram pick-up truck into the wetlands adjacent to the intersection of Jefferson Drive and Grove Road in Mastic Beach. That intersection and the surrounding areas are owned by the Town of Brookhaven and abut a tidal wetland. When a witness saw what the defendants were doing, she began taking several photographs of the couple and the waste that they had dumped. Judith Monasterolo, who was in the passenger seat of the Dodge Ram, allegedly then gave the witness two middle fingers as Fabio Monasterolo drove them away from the scene.
Brookhaven Town Officials contacted the District Attorney’s Office and provided the photographic evidence and information regarding the dumping crime. Detectives from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Biological, Environmental, and Animal Safety Team (BEAST) immediately began an investigation. The defendants were subsequently arrested a week later, on May 1, 2023.
On October 16, 2023, Fabio and Judith Monasterolo each pleaded guilty to Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree, a Class A Misdemeanor, before Acting County Court Judge, the Honorable James McDonaugh.
As a condition of their plea agreements, prosecutors mandated that the Monasterolos pay the Town of Brookhaven $2,602.75 in restitution for the initial cost of clean-up for their illegal actions, fully finance a day-long clean-up of other pollution in the tidal wetlands by a Town of Brookhaven work crew, participate in a Pine Barrens reforesting initiative by personally planting over 50 trees, and issue a written apology to the citizen who captured them on camera during the commission of their crime. The Monasterolos were represented by Jorge Macias, Esq.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney John Sciandra of the Biological, Environmental, and Animal Safety Team (BEAST), with investigative assistance from Suffolk County BEAST Detective Walter Justinic, DEC Environmental Conservation Officer Timothy Day, and DEC Environmental Conservation Investigator Jeremy Eastwood.