El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal today announced the arrest of a Socorro resident who has been charged with violating the Texas Health and Safety Code by illegally dumping solid waste in Socorro, Texas.
According to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, 58 year-old Victor Manuel Villanueva is charged with two counts of illegal dumping of more than 500 but less than 1,000 pounds, in violation of the Texas Health and Safety Code § 365.012. The offense is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
"The illegal dumping of solid waste and household trash continues to be a serious problem in the unincorporated areas of El Paso County," said El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal.
"Besides affecting the health, safety and quality of life of the families, illegal dumping costs taxpayers thousands of dollars every year in investigation, prosecution, and clean-up costs," Bernal concluded.
The penalty for individuals found guilty of illegal dumping ranges from a fine of up to $10,000, to up to 2 years in jail, or both.
To report illegal dumping or other environmental crimes 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 El Paso City's Citizen Collection Stations operate Tuesday - Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Users are required to show a copy of the most recent water bill and an identification. The collection stations 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 Patsy López at (915) 546-2050.
Villanueva Arrest Press Release.pdf
El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal today announced the sentencing of a 48-year-old East El Paso resident accused of engaging in Deceptive Business Practices.
On March 13, 2013, Adrian Zamarripa, owner of “A to Z Remodeling”, pled guilty in three Deceptive Business Practice cases before County Court at Law #4 Judge Alex Gonzalez. Zamarripa was sentenced to 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine.
The first case involved a victim who paid the Defendant over $100,000 in advance to remodel his home, but the work was never finished. Since some services were delivered, it was determined that the amount of restitution due was just over $75,000. The Defendant repaid the victim $20,500, but thereafter failed to make any additional payments. After pleading guilty in this case, Zamarripa was sentenced to 365 days in jail and a $4,000 fine.
In the second case, the victim paid Zamarripa more than $18,000 to remodel her home; however, the job was never completed. In this case Judge Gonzalez sentenced Zamarripa to 365 days in jail and a $4,000 fine.
In the third case, the victim paid the Defendant $5,000 to remodel her home and, again, failed to do so. In this case Zamarripa was sentenced to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. Zamarripa won’t begin serving this sentence until he completes the first two sentences.El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal expressed her satisfaction on the outcome of the case. “As a prosecutor, one of my priorities has always been to obtain as much restitution as possible for the victims of deceptive merchants. However, this is not always possible. The victims in these cases will never recover in full their hard-earned money, but at least they got some justice through the court system,” Bernal said. Bernal explained that this case illustrates how difficult it is to recover money for victims of unscrupulous merchants. “Consumers interested in remodeling their homes need to investigate the reputation of the contractors and be very cautious when paying money up front. We recommend the public not pay the complete amount of the contract until after the job is finished, and the homeowner is satisfied with the quality of the work,” Bernal concluded. In addition to the Better Business Bureau, residents interested in investigating the background of a prospective contractor can look up their criminal and civil case histories by visiting the County’s website at www.epcounty.com/records.
Residents who might have fallen victims of fraud or deceptive business practices are asked to contact the Criminal Section of the County Attorney's Office at 546-2050.
Zamarripa Remodeler Sentenced Press Release.pdf