The owner of a Santa Ana metal-plating company pleaded guilty Friday to dumping toxic metals into the sewer and was sentenced to a year in jail.
Bhabani "Bob" Mohanty, president of Engineering Plating Corp., was accused of pouring several metals into the sewer, said Nick Thompson, a deputy district attorney. Among the metals was hexavalent chrome, a suspected carcinogen.
Mohanty, 38, pleaded guilty to one felony count of illegally dumping hazardous waste.
Mohanty at one point had a permit to dump limited amounts of waste into the sewer, but the Orange County Sanitation District revoked it and locked his sink pipe because he was exceeding the amount allowed.
When investigators served a search warrant in March, Thompson said, they found that while the lock was in place, the pipe would pivot so toxics could be poured into it. The floor of the business often was flooded with the waste, he said.
"He'd been dealing with this stuff in an illegal manner and a sloppy way for 10 years," Thompson said.