fugitive - you never saw meThis time, there’s no one-armed man.Photo: Shawn Carpenter

These days the letter of the law reads E-P-A.

Albania Deleon capturedPhoto: epa.govThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just nabbed the latest fugitive on its Most Wanted list (are you more surprised that the EPA has a “Most Wanted” list or that they’re actually catching people on it?). Arrested October 30 in her native Dominican Republic, Albania Deleon was on the run for giving green jobs a bad name.

Deleon was convicted in 2008 for bestowing fake asbestos-removal certifications to hundreds of workers, many of whom were illegal immigrants, through her Massachusetts-based company, Environmental Compliance Training. In this caper-without-papers, more than two-thirds of those waving one of her certificates of course completion were faking it — who then went on to do their asbestos to remove this dangerous mineral insulation without proper training through a temp agency also owned by Deleon.

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Environmental jobs of all kinds have been getting enough of a bad rap recently, so Massachusetts can give a sigh of relief that Deleon’s rap sheet is the only certification she’ll be giving out for the next five to 20 years (based on her sentencing still to come). Having crossed both the law and border, she’s currently awaiting extradition in the Dominican Republic as EPA captured-fugitive number five.

Other environmental fugitives still on the EPA’s list range from smoggy car smugglers to hazardous material dumpers. They should probably be warned that smooth criminals can’t escape the long arm of the law by trying to pull a fast one on the environment. After all, even the mafia can’t get away with it.


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