Today’s news:

Five arrested in theft of garbage equipment in boro

DA Richard Brown said at a press conference in Kew Gardens that an investigation into the scheme, allegedly orchestrated with the help of the Genovese organized crime family, began in April 2003 and documented more than $200,000 in losses from 10 different waste disposal operators.

"The defendants are charged with stealing garbage compactors and containers owned by their trade waste industry competitors, using unmarked roll-off garbage trucks to cart away the costly equipment in the dark of night from various sites in New York and New Jersey and, after obscuring identifying markings by painting over them or scraping stickers off them, selling the stolen property on the black market or retaining the proceeds," Brown said.

The defendants are the owners of Advanced Container and Demolition Corp. Arthur Bordino, 36, of Bay Shore, L.I. and Donald Cleary, 34, of West Islip, L.I.; Adam Hyzdu, 36, of West Babylon, L.I. and owner of Elite Container Service; Leonard Larosa, 29, of Wantagh, L.I. and manager of South Shore Materials; and Greg Swensom, 36, of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and owner of All American Rubbish Removal.

Brown said the men are variously charged in a 16-count indictment with grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and conspiracy. He said they each face up to seven years in prison if convicted. The DA did not specify when the defendants would again appear in court.

The eight-month investigation, called "Operation Carted Away," was initiated after Waste Management Inc. reported a string of thefts of garbage compactors and containers valued at about $200,000, Brown said. The indictment charges that between April 16 and Oct. 24 2003 the defendants also stole from American Recycling; All-City Interior Contracting Inc., a company owned by John Callandrilla; Forest Hills Container Services; Galaxy Roll-Off and Demolition; Island Waste Services; Jamaica Ash; Omni Waste Services; and Standard Waste Services.

Hyzdu, who Brown said allegedly has ties to the Genovese organized crime family, allegedly stole a 30-yard garbage container owned by American Recycling and valued at several thousand dollars in the vicinity of 130 Beach 27th St. in Far Rockaway. Other alleged incidents, the DA said, included thefts on May 9, May 21 and Sept. 26 from throughout the metropolitan area where merchandise was transported through Queens County.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said: "This case is an example of our determination to be vigilant against any new attempts to undermine an industry that has been plagued by organized crime."

Brown said his office, along with help from the Business Integrity Commission, started in 1996, led the investigation along with the New York City Police Department.

Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at or by calling 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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