A Venezuelan obstetrician will be placed on trial for improperly handling dangerous waste materials by discarding human placenta remains and surgical materials in a public trash can, and - if convicted - he could face six years in prison, the Attorney General's Office announced Monday.

On May 18, 2011, police patrolling the bus terminal in the town of Socope in the western state of Barinas, arrested Dr. Oswaldo Castillo after he threw a plastic bag into a trash can.

"Given the nervous attitude of the doctor, the officers examined (the bag's) contents and found a human placenta with fetal and maternal characteristics, as well as surgical waste materials," the AG's office said in a statement.

It said that Castillo, now 48, "was apprehended red-handed" and that since that time he has presented himself each month in the court in Barinas where on Monday he was ordered to stand trial.

The law sets forth fines and prison terms of between four and six years for offenders who "generate, use or handle substances, materials or waste classified as dangerous causing risks to health and to the environment." EFE