El Paso County Attorney José R. Rodríguez today announced the sentencing of a San Elizario resident who pled guilty to violating the State Illegal Dumping Statute, on private property, in far east El Paso County.
21-year-old Luis Javier Perales pled guilty today to 2 counts of illegal dumping (transporting and disposing) before Judge Alma Trejo of the County Criminal Court at Law Number One (the Environmental Court). Perales was sentenced to 12 months deferred probation, 100 hours of community service at the Clint Landfill or other community clean-up, and $1000 fine plus court costs. Mr. Perales was also ordered to clean-up two dumpsites where he illegally disposed of household trash, a mattress, and some tires.
The offense occurred on Sunday, March 9, 2008. Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the intersection of S. Ascension and Colonia Granja, in East El Paso County, to investigate an illegal dumping call. The reporter described three males in a pick-up truck pulling a small flatbed trailer with a mattress and other trash, all of whom were dumping trash onto the desert. Upon interviewing the suspects, the deputies discovered that the defendant found the landfill closed, and instead of taking the waste back to his home, he decided to dump the trash in the desert, with the help of his cousin and uncle. During the investigation, the deputies found a second, older dumpsite near the place where the mattress and other trash had been dumped.
"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 County to mandate trash collection in the unincorporated areas of El Paso County. 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 stressed that the County Attorney's Office will continue to prosecute such offenders to the fullest extent of the law. 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.
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Perales Conviction Press Release.pdf