SOUTH ELGIN, Ill. (STMW) – A recycling company and two of its employees have been fined after pleading guilty to illegal dumping that caused a fish kill in northwest suburban South Elgin last spring.

Elburn-based D&Y Trade Inc., its chief executive officer Yu Tan “John” Zheng and employee An Hong were ordered to pay $20,000 in combined restitution as a result.

Zheng, 34, and Hong, 32, both of Elburn, each pleaded guilty Oct. 20 in 16th Judicial Circuit Court to a Class 4 felony count of water pollution and a misdemeanor count of water pollution, court records said.

In May, the men dumped an industrial detergent into a sewer drain that flowed into a stream near Mavis Avenue in South Elgin, according to an indictment filed by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. The detergent flowed from the stream into an area pond and part of the Fox River, and caused a fish kill, authorities said.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources led an investigation into the dumping with help from South Elgin police, the attorney general’s office, U.S. and Illinois Environmental Protection agencies, South Elgin firefighters and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The multi-agency investigation began after a South Elgin resident complained to police that there were dead fish in his backyard pond and a creek nearby.

The D&Y Trade building at 670 Sundown Road is near where the dead fish were found, authorities said.

Zheng and Hong caused the kill by pouring an acidic detergent into a storm drain at the South Elgin recycling facility, prosecutors said.

Zheng and Hong were sentenced each to 18 months’ probation, 100 hours of community service and payment of $1,250 in restitution, according to court records. D&Y Trade Inc. was ordered to pay $17,500 in restitution, court records said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)