Truck driver gets prison for illegally dumping fuel

A truck driver who dumped thousands of gallons of fuel in south Georgia has been sentenced to serve a year and a half in federal prison.

Federal prosecutors said in a news release that 40-year-old Jaron Coleman of Oakville dumped about 3,000 gallons of fuel onto land that drains into a Thomasville creek in 2018. They say that prompted a school to be evacuated and required a costly cleanup led by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Prosecutors said Coleman was sentenced Thursday. He had pleaded guilty in September to one count of unauthorized discharge of oil in the waters of the United States.

Prosecutors say Coleman said he dumped the fuel after realizing he’d loaded the wrong product.

“As reflected in this case, the consequences for violating environmental laws can include significant prison time,” U.S. Attorney Charlie Peeler said in the news release.