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Trashing East Texas: Gladewater

Gladewater police have found two illegal dumping sites littered with furniture, building supplies and a clue to the suspect. The sites are located in Upshur County off South Rodeo street and Highway 80 in Gladewater.

The discovery of the dumpsites came this morning. The owner of an abandoned property called Gladewater police complaining about the buckets and supplies thrown on his property.

"I was checking it this morning and I came back through and this caught my eye," says officer Vance Callahan.

What caught his eye was the second dumpsite. There was trash piled throughout the wooded area and even spread down a hill.

"There's a ton or more shingles out here, pallets, couches and old TV sets," says Callahan as he took pictures of the scene for evidence.

There's an old water heater and computer as well. But, among the trash, there was also a clue. One that has led police straight to a suspect.

"Under a piece of carpet, I located a Texas truck license plate," says Callahan.

It's a valid license plate and police say the owner is no stranger to trashing East Texas.

"My suspect has been charged twice for the same offense of illegal dumping," says Callahan.

Although officer Callahan says he knows who's he's after, he's turning all of his evidence over to the District Attorney's office. He says the evidence will prove who is responsible.

"It's a shame. We've got facilities that will take trash, your garbage that's disposed of properly and to me, this is a lazy human being that comes out and wrecks the environment."

Police say because of the amount of trash dumped here, the suspect is likely facing a felony charge and that could mean jail time. As far as the first dumpsite police were alerted to, they don't believe the same suspect is responsible for that one. Officer Callahan says Upshur County intends to prosecute everyone involved.

Amy Tatum, reporting.

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