A Tampa business owner is facing criminal charges for failing to properly dispose of more than 50,000 pounds of rotting biomedical waste.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection arrested Basile Pertsas, 55, on Friday.
He faces 11 felony counts of littering for commercial purposes and economic gain, 11 misdemeanor counts of nuisance injurious to health and 11 misdemeanor counts of storage of biomedical waste at a non-permitted location.
Pertsas was also charged with one felony count of violation of probation.
- State issues cease and desist order after more trailers of untreated biomedical waste discovered
- State fines company after untreated medical waste dating back 14 months is found in trailers
I-Team Investigator Adam Walser first reported about Pertsas’ company – Sharps MD – in November when the state fined him more than $37,000 for keeping 14-month-old untreated medical waste in trailers in Tampa. The state later discovered he was also keeping trailers with filled waste in Plant City.
The Department of Environmental Protection reported it arrested Pertsas after serving an inspection warrant at a Plant City storage facility on July 29.
The agency said it found Pertsas keeping eight 53-foot trailers and three cargo shipping containers full of untreated medical waste at the site.
Sharps MD is supposed to be in the business of properly disposing of medical waste, such as used syringes, needles or blood-soaked gauze.
The state’s environmental agency says it will now hire a contractor to remove the waste. The agency said it would pursue reimbursement of the cleanup costs through the court system.