FROM Karyn Sinunu, Assistant District Attorney

CONTACT PERSON: Bud Porter, Deputy District Attorney Environmental Protection Unit (408) 792-2962   For immediate release on July 12, 2002     GREASE DUMPED IN PALO ALTO CREEK—FRESNO MEN TO SERVE 4 MONTHS IN JAIL FOR FELONY CONVICTION   Santa Clara County District Attorney George W. Kennedy announced today that two Fresno-area men were convicted of felony water pollution for dumping thousands of gallons of grease into a Palo Alto creek. The grease slimed a half-mile stretch of Adobe Creek and took crews two days to clean up.   The defendants, Abraham Gomez and Angel Leal Mancilla, pleaded no contest to all charges yesterday as the jury trial was scheduled to begin. Sentencing is set for September 16 in Department 58 of the Superior Court in Santa Clara. The defendants will be ordered to serve four months in county jail, perform 250 hours of clean-up work for the community, and reimburse the City of Los Altos $7,683 for the cost of cleaning up Adobe Creek. Each defendant must also pay a $27,000 fine.   The charges were based on an incident that occurred around 1 a.m. on September 21, 2000, when the defendants opened a manhole on El Camino Real in Los Altos and dumped a tanker of restaurant grease inside the storm drain. The defendants are employed by Thrifty Best Service of Fresno.   The illegal disposal of restaurant grease is a statewide problem. Restaurant grease suffocates fish and is harmful to plants and birds.   Crime scene diagram available upon request.   ###

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