Largest penalty in state history levied against operator of illegal Afton mining operation

AFTON – The $400,000 judgment levied against those involved with an illegal Afton mining operation should serve as a warning to any who dare violate New York’s bluestone mining laws, according to the state’s chief legal officer.

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday that John Lepre of Kingsley, Pa. and his associates would be required to pay $400,000 in civil penalties for their role in an un-permitted bluestone mining operation first discovered by the Department of Environmental Conservation in 2005. Also named in the suit were the Pennsylvania company through which Lepre reportedly sold the illegally-mined bluestone, Stoney Lonesome Quarries, and its owner, Julie Lepre.

“Today’s defendants took advantage of the state’s natural resources to line their own pockets,” said Cuomo. “They mined illegally and irresponsibly - laying waste to eight acres of forestland.”

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