The Alaska State Troopers in Fairbanks received a report of a vehicle being dumped into the Chena River near the end of Chena Small Tracts Road on 09/03/19. Initial investigation revealed the vehicle was an older model brown sedan partially sunken in the river approximately 30 feet from shore. No license plate was visible. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) was notified and assisted in containment of an oil slick in water and on the shore which was leaking from the vehicle.
Incident responsibility was transferred to the Alaska Wildlife Troopers. AWT responded with a boat and was able to determine vehicle identification information via underwater photos. The vehicle owner was tracked down to Florida. Through further investigation AWT made contact with Mario Bruce, age 29 of Fairbanks on 09/06/19. Bruce ultimately admitted to dumping the vehicle into the river and failing to notify ADF&G as required regarding the vehicle. Bruce was issued a summons for polluting an anadromous salmon stream with a mandatory court date of 10/01/19 at 0830 hours in the Fairbanks District Court for the violation. The vehicle was recovered from the river and removed from the scene.