by Victor Lopez
WEST ODESSA--Officials are calling it a major victory in an ongoing war. NewsWest 9, the only ones on scene moments after it happened.
30-year-old Victor Olivas and 28-year-old Cervando Rico learned the hard way that illegal dumping won't be tolerated in Ector County.
"I was driving here on Garrett Street and I noticed 2 individuals in a silver colored pick-up, disposing of what seemed to be shingles on some private property. I pulled up and sure enough, they were disposing of the shingles and other solid waste materials," Criminal Environmental Enforcement Investigator, Oscar Limon, said.
According to Limon, Olivas says he was just working for Rico on a roofing job. When they couldn't afford the fees at the landfill, he decided to dump the shingles someplace else.
"There is a system in place and we have to follow that system, just like everyone else. There is a dumpsite available to everyone. We all have to pay our fees," Limon commented.
The fact that Limon saw the two men trying to dispose of these roofing shingles, illegally, gives him the leverage he needs to prove his case in court.
"I actually rolled up on it and actually got to see them, in my presence, disposing of this material. That's why they were arrested on the spot," Limon explained.
Olivas and Rico each face one count of illegal commercial dumping, a state jail felony. That comes with up to 2 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
According to Limon, "With that, we are going to continue to enforce any kind of illegal dumping whether it's a Class "C" Misdemeanor or a state jail felony. We're going to continue with the enforcement."
With Christmas just a couple of days away, Limon hopes these arrests will make residents think twice before they dump their holiday trash on someone else's property, "I am hoping that the people, here in Ector County, take this to heart and understand, we're not going to tolerate this, in any way. The Commissioners are tired of it. The people here, in West Odessa, are definitely tired of it."