Thursday, July 31, 2008
J.B Contracting Hit with Grand Larceny
CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF STOLEN PROPERTY
By Patricia Adams
The owner of J.B. Contracting, located at 104-11 101st in Ozone Park, Alfredo Joseph Battaglia, was arrested last week and charged with three felony counts, involving the theft of a roll-away disposable waste container belonging to a rival construction company.
Battaglia is known throughout the neighborhood by a large fleet of flashy trucks, his equipment branded with the tag-line “Da Dropout”, a self-proclaimed badge of honor Battaglia has painted on his trucks to demonstrate business success despite his failure to complete formal education.
The builder, whose general contracting signs are a popular sight throughout Howard Beach, surrendered to police one full day after other members of his staff were removed from his business office nearly 24-hours before.
On Wednesday afternoon, police from the 106 descended upon the offices on 101st street, where Battaglia himself was not present. Two other men, Daniel Rinaldo and Alejandro Cabrerra were arrested there and held at the precinct for many hours before being transferred to Central Booking the next morning when Battaglia himself was arrested.
Charges against the three men are all felony counts, the top charge of which is a D Felony, arrest charge, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 3rd degree, along with D felony Grand Larceny in the 3rd degree and Criminal Mischief in the 2nd degree. Following the execution of a warrant obtained by police, a search was conducted at the 101st street business location where police say evidence was obtained that directly linked the suspects to the stolen property.
According to police sources, evidence recovered should be more than enough to see that the case against Battaglia and his workers could find its way to a grand jury for examination.
But it seems that Battaglia’s alleged illicit business practices have not only fallen under scrutiny by the police. One man, dubbing himself as a potential customer of J.B. Contracting says he was seriously considering using the company to begin major renovations. He spoke to The Forum under conditions of anonymity. “This is a pretty small town type place, if you know what I mean,” the man stated “and word spreads fast.”
Among the many potential customers who are caught up in the renovation boom in Howard Beach, he went on to say, “You see this guy’s signs all over the place so you figure he’s good. Now you have to figure it might be tough [for him] to finish a job from behind bars. I for one just can’t take that chance.”
Battaglia’s divergent problems stemming from this incident could lead in yet another direction; that of the Business Integrity Commission (BIC). The BIC is both a law enforcement and regulatory agency charged with the oversight of the private carting industry. Eric Dorsch, General Counsel for the BIC, told The Forum that Battaglia does in fact hold a Class 2 exemption registration which would allow him to use roll away waste containers to remove only construction debris from job sites, whether they be his jobs or others for which he was hired just to remove construction debris.
Where that registration stops short according to BIC regulations, is that it does not give the carter the right to remove putrescible waste, garbage subject to rotting, or recyclable materials within their containers. Dorsch went on to say, “Our standard at the BIC is to maintain relationships with registrants of good character that operate with honest and integrity.”
When asked if an arrest or conviction for stealing a waste container from a rival company would have any affect on the status of present or future registration for waste removal, Dorsch said that any arrest and conviction would certainly play a role in the status of the Class 2 exemption registration.
Police officials are now awaiting a response from the DA’s office as to how the case will proceed. There are allegations that other aspects of the business will be targeted for further investigation.