The Department of Public Safety Special Operations team worked jointly with Suffolk County Police Department's Biological Environmental and Animal Safety Team, and the Department of Environmental Conservation, after identifying a potential environmentally sensitive encroachment along the Nissequogue River corridor. The original discovery came during a separate investigation regarding a hunting complaint in early January.
On January 5th, 2023, while following up on a previous hunting complaint at the Nissequogue Overlook Town of Smithtown land on Riverview Terrace in Smithtown, Park Rangers from the Department of Public Safety Special Operations Team discovered what appeared to be an encroachment upon environmentally sensitive townlands in the Nissequogue River corridor. A comprehensive investigation at the site, conducted by Park Rangers and Ordinance Investigators, in conjunction with members of the Suffolk County Police Department's Biological Environmental and Animal Safety Team and the Department of Environmental Conservation, determined that a total of approximately two acres had been encroached upon by the resident of 10 Riverview Terrace.
“This was exceptional investigative work by Public Safety and partnering departments (SCPD Biological Environmental and Animal Safety Team, and the DEC) that is indicative of the caliber of professionalism and diligence exhibited daily for our most sensitive lands and the laws which protect them. Encroachment upon environmentally sensitive land such as the Nissequogue Corridor can have devastating effects such as water quality issues, sediment loading and a loss of habitat for both aquatic and land base species... This was a job well done by all.” - Councilman Tom Lohmann, Liaison to the Public Safety Department
The defendants were served with Appearance Tickets and are set to be arraigned in Fourth District Court on Tuesday January 31, 2023 on 17 counts of Trespass, 1 count of Removing Vegetation from Environmentally Sensitive Lands, 1 count of Compaction of Environmentally Sensitive Soil, 1 count of Construction of a Shed within 100 feet of Environmentally Sensitive Lands, 1 count Construction of Wall and Bridge along a Freshwater Stream, 1 count of Failing to Obtain a Building Permit, and 1 Count of Unauthorized Tree Removal.