Criminal Defense Attorney Houston – Last month, investigators with the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office announced the arrest of the alleged leader of an illegal dumping operation that potentially involved thousands of used tires that were dumped in neighborhoods throughout Houston, Sugar Land, and Harris County.
The Texas Penal Code makes littering or dumping illegal in the following situations:
(a) A person commits an offense if the person disposes or allows or permits the disposal of litter or other solid waste at a place that is not an approved solid waste site, including a place on or within 300 feet of a public highway, on a right-of-way, on other public or private property, or into inland or coastal water of the state.
(a-1) A person commits an offense if:
(1) the person discards lighted litter, including a match, cigarette, or cigar, onto open-
space land, a private road or the right-of-way of a private road, a public highway or other
public road or the right-of-way of a public highway or other public road, or a railroad
(2) a fire is ignited as a result of the conduct described by Subdivision (1).
(b) A person commits an offense if the person receives litter or other solid waste for disposal at a place that is not an approved solid waste site, regardless of whether the litter or other solid waste or the land on which the litter or other solid waste is disposed is owned or controlled by the person.
(c) A person commits an offense if the person transports litter or other solid waste to a place that is not an approved solid waste site for disposal at the site.
The Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office charged a 59-year-old man with felony illegal dumping after a six-month investigation conducted by the precinct’s environmental crimes division. He is also the fourth person arrested during this investigation.
According to investigators, the scheme included paying other individuals to pick tires up from multiple local mechanics and then discarding them on different back roads. The constables further stated that in many instances, the man allegedly stole keys for different U-Haul trucks as well.
On March 5, the man was taken into custody for the alleged illegal dumping case that originated out of the Sugar Land area. According to constables, several individuals were caught by a city code employee dumping tires back on December 27, 2019 in an alleyway behind the 12900 block of West Bellfort Avenue in Sugar Land.
A statement from Precinct One stated they believe the man most recently arrested could potentially be involved with a dumping incident that took place on December 31, 2019, in the 11600 block of Homestead Road in the city of Houston. This specific incident remains under investigation by the Houston Police Department.
The Environmental Crimes Division officers claim they identified the leader of the entire operation back in January of this year when three men were placed under arrest by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office after they were caught dumping tires in the 14600 block of Old Humble Road in Harris County.
Despite these arrests, Precinct One says they are continuing to search for another group of men who were caught on a nearby surveillance camera dumping tires in the 11200 block of Van Archer back on September 20, 2019. Of the three men seen engaging in the illegal act in the video, investigators claim they have only been able to identify one of them thus far.
The alleged leader faces from six (6) months up to two years (2) in state jail or a fine of up to $10,000 because of the weight the District Attorney’s Office alleges that he dumped.
According to the “Don’t Mess With Texas” campaign, one of the biggest issues in Texas is litter.
In fact, according to the campaign’s website, tire debris is considered the second largest component of litter in Texas.
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