Northborough man arraigned for animal cruelty, multiple environmental violations

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Northborough – A Northborough man has been arraigned in connection with multiple environmental violations and animal cruelty for the alleged operation of an illegal dumping site, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced Jan. 18.

Santo Anza Jr., 51, was arraigned on the charges of violating the Massachusetts Clean Air Act (three counts), violating the Massachusetts Solid Waste Act (10 counts), and Animal Cruelty (three counts). He was arraigned Jan. 18 in Worcester Superior Court where he pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance, with the condition that he not contact citizen witnesses who testified against him.

According to authorities, Anza operated an illegal dump for solid waste on his Whitney Street property in Northborough. Authorities allege that the dump site polluted the air and created a public nuisance by emitting rotten odors that annoyed and sickened neighbors.

In October 2010, Anza applied for and was granted a composting registration from the Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR). In March 2011, he applied for a renewal of the composting registration from DAR. A site visit in connection with the application for renewal showed little agricultural activity. Authorities allege that Anza used the site not as a farm, but instead as a dump for spoiled food, non-food waste, manure, yard waste, cardboard, and other materials. The materials were allegedly dumped in close proximity to animals and livestock that roamed freely on the property. Anza was granted temporary registration provided that he brought the site into compliance.

Authorities allege that after his temporary certificate expired in April 2011, Anza continued to accept tons of solid waste without a valid site assignment. According to authorities, during the summer months of June, July, and August 2011, the farm emitted strong and repulsive odors into a nearby residential neighborhood on repeated occasions, causing some neighbors to become physically ill.

Authorities also allege that Anza kept various animals on the Northborough property, including cows, pigs, and poultry, that commingled and foraged for food in a pit of garbage that included non-food items, including severed animal heads, manure, cardboard and tires. Authorities allege that Anza failed to provide proper food to the animals, failed to maintain a sanitary environment for them, and instead subjected them to unnecessary suffering.

A Worcester County Grand Jury returned indictments against Anza Dec. 14, 2011. He was arraigned in Worcester Superior Court Jan. 18, 2012, at which time he entered a plea of not guilty and was released on personal recognizance, with the condition that he not contact citizen witnesses who testified against him. Anza is due back in court on March 5, 2012 for a pre-trial conference.