The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office’s conducted a month-long operation to crack down on commercial littering and illegal dumping activity across the county. A total of 14 people were arrested and face felony charges for the improper disposal of waste that created health and safety risks to residents, and in one case, blocked access to a property.
From Tuesday, September 1, 2020 to Friday, October 2, 2020, deputies interviewed complainants, gathered surveillance video, and worked diligently to identify possible suspects. The area of South 12th Avenue and South 50th Street is a known hot spot for illegal dumping and during the operation’s time frame, piles of debris were blocking access to a business. Deputies closely monitored the area and identified Rafael Octavio Lopez-Acosta, 28, as the suspect behind the dumping of several large pieces of broken concrete and old carpet along the roadway. Lopez-Acosta told deputies he was paid $1,200 to remove and dispose the material from a residence. He was arrested and faces one count of Felony Littering.
In a separate case, surveillance video showed two suspects, Darnell Siler Robinson, 18, and Keith George III, 27, stopping along South 86th Street and Gold Ridge Circle in the Palm River-Clair Mel area, and dumping a toilet, wooden bed frame, headboard, and other miscellaneous trash on both sides of the road. The suspects were seen driving a Ford F-150 pick-up truck with a white trailer displaying the business name, “Keith One Call I’m It & That’s It.” Both suspects were arrested and charged with Felony Littering.
Other cases involved improper disposal of tree debris, sofas, tires, and an inoperable RV filled with pieces of furniture and trash.
“Our deputies pinpointed areas known for prolific dumping and commercial littering and worked tirelessly to identify the people behind these illegal acts that are not only an eyesore, but also public health hazards,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “The improper disposal of waste creates conditions that attract rodents and mosquitoes. In addition, sharp objects and edges can cause injuries. We live in a beautiful county and it’s our responsibility, as a community, to keep it that way.”
Anyone who spots illegal dumping is asked to contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at (813) 247-8200.