PORTLAND (AP) – A fugitive from Meddybemps who was convicted nearly two years ago of illegally handling hazardous waste and other environmental violations has been added to Maine’s most wanted list, authorities said Tuesday.

Harry J. Smith Jr., 64, who failed to report for a one-year jail term after his appeal was denied in December 2003, may still be involved in the salvage and recycling business, the state Public Safety Department said.

Smith may be traveling in a white Ford van with New Hampshire plates and frequenting motels in the Portsmouth, N.H., area, the agency added.

A junkyard operator, Smith took money for accepting hazardous wastes and disposing of them at three sites that required environmental cleanups over a period of two decades, according to Assistant Attorney General Leeane Robbin.

“We – the taxpayers – have spent millions on Harry Smith’s sites,” said Robbin, noting that one was designated a Superfund site.

The sites included a huge tire pile that was laced with train cars filled with pails and barrels of highly flammable materials, she said.

After a jury trial in Washington County Superior Court, Smith was sentenced to four years with all but 12 months suspended. An arrest warrant was issued after he failed to report to the jail as ordered.

“Harry decided he’d rather spend his retirement elsewhere,” Robbin said.

The Maine’s Most Wanted Web site was launched nearly a year ago with photos, composite sketches and criminal charges that authorities hoped would help solve crimes and locate fugitives.

Most listed are wanted for robbery, theft, assault or probation revocations.

Perhaps the most notorious on the list is James “Whitey” Bulger, the Boston crime figure indicted for 18 counts of murder.

The Web site is sponsored by the Maine Community Policing Institute at University of Maine at Augusta and is maintained by the Brunswick Police Department.



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