DENVER - John Albert Paquette, 52, and his company East Point LLC, have been charged with discharging 1,000 gallons of raw sewage from a hose into the Oligarchy Ditch, which flowed into Union Reservoir in Longmont, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

East Point LLC operates East Point Mini Storage at 12121 Sugar Mill Road.

Paquette and an attorney representing the company appeared Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court, where they were advised of their rights and the charges pending against them.

If convicted, the company faces not more than five years' probation, a fine of at least $5,000 and not more than $50,000 per day of violation. Paquette, if convicted, faces up to one year in prison and a fine of at least $2,500 and not more than $25,000 per day of violation.

"Protecting our environment, including the water we rely on, is a top priority of this U.S. Attorney's Office," said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. "Thanks to the investigative work of the Environmental Protection Agency, we've been able to bring charges against a person and a company who intentionally dirtied water in the city of Longmont."

"The defendant has been charged with dumping untreated sewage directly into a tributary of Union Reservoir, a popular recreational lake," said Jeffrey Martinez, special agent in charge of EPA's criminal enforcement program in Colorado. "Illegally discharged sewage can sicken people, fish and wildlife. This case shows that those who try to save a buck by cutting corners will be vigorously prosecuted."

The case is being investigated by the EPA's Criminal Investigation Division. The defendants are being prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorney Suneeta Hazra.