El Paso County Attorney José R. Rodríguez today announced the sentencing of an East El Paso resident who pled guilty to violating the Texas Health and Safety Code by illegally dumping trash on private property in Clint, Texas.
21 year-old Francisco Hernández pled guilty to two counts of illegal dumping of more than 5 pounds but less than 500 pounds, in violation of the Texas Health and Safety Code § 365.012.
The offense was discovered on April 9, 2009, when Union Pacific Railroad Police Special Agent Victor Estrada was patrolling property near the Moon Road Crossing in east El Paso. Agent Estrada encountered some plastic bags containing household trash lying on the right-of-way at railroad property behind the 9800 block of Alameda. Upon further investigation, he discovered that the waste came from a residence located at 9570 Grenada Way, in El Paso County.
When confronted, Mr. Hernández admitted to dumping trash at the site. He said he had attempted to dispose of the waste at the City's landfill, but found it closed. The City of El Paso had to clean up the illegal dump site.
On Monday October 5, 2009, County Criminal Court at Law # 1 (the Environmental Court) Judge Alma Trejo sentenced Francisco Hernández to 6 months deferred probation, assessed him a $750.00 fine, ordered him to pay court costs, and to complete 80 hours of community service at the Clint Landfill or some other type of community cleanup.
"Illegal dumping is a serious environmental crime which affects health and quality of life," said El Paso County Attorney José R. Rodríguez. "The illegal dumping of household trash continues throughout our community, despite efforts by the City of El Paso to make citizen collection stations available for extra household trash. Illegal dumping costs taxpayers thousands of dollars every year in investigation, prosecution, and clean-up costs, moneys that we could be spending on other worthwhile projects," Rodríguez concluded.
The penalty for illegal dumping ranges from a fine up to $10,000 for an individual, or up to 2 years in jail, or both fine and incarceration. For an association or corporation, the fine is up to $10,000.
To report illegal dumping or other environmental crime, call your local law enforcement agency: 911 if you see it happening; the Environmental Hotline at 1-888-6EL-PASO, El Paso Police Dept. at 832-4400, or El Paso Sheriff's Dept. at 546-2280.
The City's Citizen Collection Stations operate Tuesday - Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Be sure to take your water bill and identification. They accept household hazardous waste, but not construction and demolition debris. The sites are located at:
- § Northeast: 4501 Hondo Pass
- § Westside: 121 Atlantic at Doniphan
- § Central: 2492 Harrison at Alabama
- § South: 4200 Delta
- § Lower Valley 9000 Escobar at Zaragoza
For more information contact El Paso County Attorney's Environmental Prosecutor Cristina Viesca-Santos at (915) 546-2050.
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Illegal Dumping Press Release.pdf