Published on April 18th, 2015 | by The Kitsap Scene


Man who diverted Tahuya River sentenced to 30 days in jail

A Mason County judge sentenced a Tahuya man who diverted the Tahuya River to 30 days in jail on each count today.

William Cayo, Sr.’s jail sentences are to be served concurrently, and he also must pay $8,143, be on two years probation and follow civil and criminal environmental laws, according to a press release from the Attorney General’s Office.

The Attorney General’s Office charged Cayo in Mason County District Court with violating both the water pollution control act and shoreline management act, as well as conducting unpermitted hydraulic activities stemming from the alteration of the channel of the Tahuya River in early February 2013.

The Attorney General’s Office charged William Cayo, Sr. in Mason County District Court with violation of the water pollution control act, violation of the shoreline management act, and conducting unpermitted hydraulic activities in connection with the alteration of the channel of the Tahuya River in early February 2013. A jury found Cayo guilty on all counts last week.

Cayo used an excavator and bulldozer to fill the river channel near his home, and to redirect the river, according to the release, filling and grading nearly 1 ½ acres of river bed.

“Environmental crimes are a high priority for my office, and this kind of unpermitted work is unacceptable,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in the release. “If you break our laws and harm our environment, I will hold you accountable.”

“For his own benefit, the defendant in this case intentionally violated the law by significantly altering and damaging the Tahuya River,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Jay M. Green, head of EPA’s Criminal Enforcement program in Washington state, in the release. “In so doing, the defendant showed no regard for the environment, or for the salmon and other aquatic wildlife that the people of Washington state prize and protect, and no regard for his neighbors downstream. Today’s sentence sends a clear message to others who might choose to behave similarly that if you intentionally damage Washington state’s natural resources you are going to find yourself behind bars.”

Cayo was also sentenced to another 334 days on two counts and another 60 days on one, all of which were suspended. He also has another $8,500 in suspended fines, according to the release.

A restitution hearing is set for June 26.

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The Kitsap Scene is an online news magazine covering everything in Kitsap County.

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