A Deer Park man was among seven individuals caught by Department of Environmental Conservation officials illegally off-roading this past weekend on preserved and private land in western Suffolk County.
Nicholas Ferraro, 38, was charged with operating an ATV on private property.
According to the DEC, the incidents occurred on the 813-acre Oak Brush Plains State Preserve, which bisects the town borders of Huntington, Islip and Babylon and is open to residents with an access permit. Environmental conversation officers said they had been tipped off to illegal use of the lands previous to the Jan. 12-13 special enforcement assignment.
Some of the riders had also been illegally driving on the privately-owned Heartland Industrial Park Complex, which abuts Oak Brush Plains, according to authorities.
“Illegal off-roading on unsuitable properties not only damages valuable natural resources and important wildlife habitat, but can put other individuals legally utilizing the property in harm’s way,” said DEC Forest Ranger Capt. Tim Byrnes.
Others charged included Alec Longo, 19, of Smithtown, who was charged with operating an unauthorized motor vehicle on state land, operating an ATV on private land, trespassing, uninsured motor vehicle, and unregistered motor vehicle. Joseph Bauer, 20, of Islip, was given the same citations.
Sound Beach resident Benjamin Karen was charged with operating a motor vehicle off-road on private property, a violation that comes with a fine of $250 to $700 for first-time offenders.
Lindenhurst residents Robert McCormick, 37; Adam Sivon, 34; and Joseph Vallianos, 26 each were charged with operating a motor vehicle off-road on private property, DEC officials said.
All tickets are returnable to Suffolk County First District Court in Central Islip on Feb. 6.