Wednesday, 12 June 2024

Murder suspect indicted on federal hazardous dumping charges

LAKE COUNTY – A man being held for a November murder has been indicted by the US Attorney's Office for allegedly dumping hazardous waste in a 2005 incident in San Diego County.

Ivan Garcia Oliver, 29, is charged with the Nov. 20 murder of 67-year-old Michael Dodele.

Oliver's legal problems have grown since the alleged attack.

A week after Oliver is alleged to have stabbed Dodele to death in his trailer at the Western Hills Mobile Home Park in Lakeport, the US Department of Justice indicted Oliver, according to court documents obtained by Lake County News.

Charges filed against Oliver include conspiracy and aiding and abetting co-defendant Guillermo Garcia of El Cajon in dumping hazardous wastes in San Diego County, court records show. In addition, Garcia is facing a charge for failing to report a release of a hazardous substance.

Shortly after Oliver was arrested for Dodele's murder, the Lake County Sheriff's Office discovered that Oliver was on parole out of San Diego County, as Lake County News previously reported.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation staff told Lake County News that Oliver has been on parole since February of 2005 on a charge of assault with force causing great bodily injury. He had not been legally cleared to be out of San Diego County, officials reported.

According to the indictment, Garcia and Oliver allegedly agreed on March 30, 2005, to dispose of Plasti-Kote acrylic paint by dumping the contents of five 55-gallon drums into Slaughterhouse Canyon Creek in San Diego County.

The paint the men allegedly dumped contained toluene, a highly toxic petroleum-based solvent used in manufacturing paints that's also used as paint thinner, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Short-term exposure to toluene can cause minor nervous system disorders, while long-term exposure can result in conditions including speech and sight impairment, and liver and kidney damage, according to the EPA.

A statement from the US Attorney of the California Southern District alleges that the two men dumped the hazardous materials into the creek and onto the ground near it at night “in order to save the time and money required by lawful disposal.”

The US Attorney's Office alleges that Garcia lied to authorities responding to the incident on March 31, 2005, telling them there ha been an accidental spill of between 20 and 30 gallons.

Garcia was arraigned Nov. 29 in federal court in San Diego before Magistrate Judge Anthony J. Battaglia, at which time he pleaded not guilty to the charges, the US Attorney's Office reported. He's next scheduled to appear in court before Judge Irma E. Gonzalez on Jan. 7, 2008.

If convicted of all charges, Garcia could face maximum fines and penalties of more than $500,000, plus as much as 16 years in prison. He has been released on $20,000 bail.

Meanwhile, the US Attorney's Office has applied for a writ of habeas corpus to have Oliver brought from the Lake County Jail to San Diego for a court appearance later this month.

A federal judge signed the writ, filed Dec. 5, which orders the warden of the Lake County Jail and the US Marshal for the district to have Oliver in court for arraignment before Magistrate Judge Leo S. Papas at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 21.

The writ calls for Oliver to be returned to Lake County after the arraignment is held.

That should put him back in Lake County in time for a Jan. 7, 2008 court appearance he is scheduled to make in the Dodele murder, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff.

Hinchcliff said he expects a date for a preliminary hearing to be set at that Jan. 7 hearing for Oliver, who was last in Lake County Superior Court on the Dodele case on Nov. 30.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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