Tire Shop Owner Arrested, Accused Of Illegally Disposing Tires

An arrest in connection to a huge illegal dumpsite in Smith County. We first told you about the site two weeks ago. It was found off FM Road 2908 in eastern Smith County. That's just north of FM 2767.

The seven acres were full of tires, insulation, lumber. The owner was letting people dump trash on his property to make ends meet.

Now, a Tyler tire shop owner has been arrested for using the site to get rid of his tires. Friday afternoon, with the help of an East Texas woman, environmental investigators put the brakes on a huge illegal tire disposal plot. They watched as the woman, who asked not to be identified, was paid to haul off tires from Moreno's Tire Shop.

"There are over 30 tires on the truck right now. Once we inventory those we are going to let her go back and pick up the other tires. He has promised to let her have 100 more tires and pay her for hauling them off. Once this happens we are going to make the arrest right then," says Sgt. Danny Brasher, Environmental Investigator with Smith County.

After the woman and a Smith County Deputy Constable pulled off with the second truck load of tires, she showed investigators how much he paid her.

"Okay we are going to go back over there and get him," say Brasher.

Investigators say Roberto Moreno paid people between a dollar and a dollar-fifty a tire to haul them off.

"It's illegal you have to have a license to buy tires you are under arrest for selling tires. It's illegal and you are going to jail for it you have to have a license to buy these tires," says Constable Dennis Taylor.

But Moreno insists he didn't know where she was taking the tires. "The lady come and pick out tires. I said pick it out and I'll pay you. I don't know what they do with the tires," says Moreno.

"Even though he doesn't know where she is taking them. He is still responsible for the illegal dumping of these tires because they are supposed to be transported by a licensed hauler," says Brasher.

Moreno faces two state jail felony charges. One for transportation of solid waste and the other for unlawful dumping. Both are punishable by a $10,000 fine and/or 2 years in jail.

Karolyn Davis, reporting. kdavis@kltv.com