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Fish Kill in Rocky River Linked to Cyanide and Strongsville Business Owner

Federal indictments handed down in April incident

 

A massive fish kill in the Rocky River in April was caused by cyanide and is being blamed on a Strongsville business owner who allegedly dumped a barrel of the toxic chemical into a storm sewer.

Renato Montorsi, 79, and his wife Teresina, 74, of Grafton, have been indicted in connection with the incident, which killed about 30,000 fish along a 3-mile stretch, from around Bonnie Park in Strongsville through Berea and Middleburg Heights.

The couple have been charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Renato Montorsi also is accused of violating the Clean Water Act.

Montorsi owns Kennedy Mint Inc., a collectible coin business at 12102 Pearl Rd. in Strongsville, but previously conducted metal plating and printing operations at the location, the indictment says.

The East Branch of the Rocky River is near the Kennedy Mint facility and storm water from that location’s parking lot flows into the East Branch of the Rocky River, according to the indictment.

U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach held a press conference Wednesday afternoon to announce the charges.

According to Dettelbach, Renato Montorsi tried to dispose of a 55-gallon drum of cyanide in a municipal trash receptacle, but the garbage collectors refused to take the barrel, which was marked as a hazardous chemical. 

Federal law requires special disposal of hazardous chemicals.

Instead, Dettelbach said Montorsi "figured out his own way of disposing of the chemical" -- he rolled the drum to a storm sewer, used a spike to punch a hole in the side and let it drain into the sewer.

The sewer carried the liquid poison to the Rocky River.

Teresina Montorsi allegedly participated in the cover-up by helping hide the barrel.

That area of the Rocky River is a breeding grounds for steelhead trout and smallmouth bass.

The river is also stocked each year with about 100,000 steelhead trout smolt. 

The case was investigated by the U.S. and Ohio Environmental Protection Agencies, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Cleveland Metroparks, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

tom m October 11, 2012 at 01:33 AM
this was an honest mistake .... I hope they only take away his house, his company,his car and throw him in jail for a few dozen years
Linda W October 11, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Those two people are disgusting, selfish and stupid. I hope they lose their business and are put in jail for a long time.
lyn October 11, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Maybe they'll come hobbling with walkers to court, or on a stretcher, for sympathy at their age. Remember Demanjuk, who was taped walking around just fine, but when it was time for any legal proceedings, "oh,poor me...I'm so sick and elderly".
Ralph October 11, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Aren't they next door to Dairy Queen? Cyanide on a cone.
lyn March 28, 2013 at 08:21 PM
Unbelievable! They just had a blurb on Channel 5 about something coming up at 5:00 - The attorney got that guy off due to mental issues. Wonder if there is more to it.

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