Environmental Crime is considered to be within white-collar crime because the motive behind offenses is always related to economic gain. Environmental Crime is not restricted by borders and has a great affect on a nation’s security and existence. “A significant proportion of both wildlife and pollution crime is carried out by organized criminal networks. ” (Interpol Enviromental Crime Programme, 2012). What is the case? What happened?
Wal-Mart, one of the largest retailers has plead guilty to violating the Clean Water Act by illegally handling and disposing of hazardous materials in stores all across the US. In another case they were found violating the handling of pesticide that had been return to the store by customers. They failed to train their employees about the proper procedures for disposal and the pesticides wound up in trash bins, and dumped into waterways. What did the court decide if it has been adjudicated?
Wal-Mart has been ordered to pay $81 million for unlawful conduct. Previous actions brought by California and Missouri will have Wal-Mart paying $110 million to resolve these cases. “By improperly handling hazardous waste, pesticides, and other materials in violation of federal laws, Wal-Mart put the public and the environment at risk and gained an unfair economic advantage over other companies,” said Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General. (Walmart Pleads Guilty to Federal Enviromental Crimes, 2013).
How did the nature of the offense affect how the police conducted the investigations? It was a combined effort between local law enforcement, local, and state environmental teams and the FBI. The use of informants, and undercover “employees” were also used. Many samples were taken from the areas that were thought at the time of the investigation to be contaminated. Special warrants were needed to examine the areas that these items were located. Also warrants were necessary to look into Wal-Mart’s policies concerning disposal of these items.