A Cape Coral man was charged with felony littering after officials say they discovered an illegal dump site in Charlotte County off Oil Well Road.
The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office and FWC Law Enforcement, in a joint venture shut down, "an illegal solid waste dump site" at 31722 Oil Well Road near I-75 and arrested William Lopez, 35, 4131 SW 1st Place for felony Violation of Florida Litter Law (Commercial), according to a prepared statement issued by the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office Monday.
According to that release, on May 31, CCSO Aviation helicopter pilot Mark Brownie observed the dump site and took photos of a rural lot staged with several Dumpsters and a large amount of trash on the ground. The photos were given to the CCSO Environmental deputy and FWC Law Enforcement. The property is owned co-owned by Izayda Cubero who lives in Coconut Grove, and David Alan Vella of Cape Coral, officials said, adding Vella is responsible for management of the property.
It was learned no permit was issued for this dump site for solid waste.
On June 8, FWC Detective David Harris observed a "ZEPOL" truck hauling a Dumpster leaving the property. The driver said he is employed by ZEPOL and had been given orders by his employer, Willie Lopez, to deliver and remove Dumpsters from the property. On June 28, the debris was measured and amounted to 5,498 cubic feet of trash, garbage, waste debris, a crushed car and 30 tires with wheels.
On July 3, officials contacted co-owner Vella who said he rented the property to Lopez for the purpose of storing Dumpsters and moving trash from one Dumpster to another without any trash on the ground. Vella was shown photos of the dump site and said he was shocked and did not give permission for Lopez to dump trash and debris on his property. Lopez paid $500 a month rental.
On July 6, CCSO Environmental Detective Phil Traniello was asked by Det. Harris to contact Lopez. Lopez reportedly told the deputy he was on vacation and would meet with him next week when he returned.
Harris went back to the property and observed several Southwest Disposal Cleanup trucks enter the property. The on-scene supervisor said he was hired by Lopez to remove two truckloads of debris. While at the site, Harris identified Lopez, who was operating one of the pieces of heavy equipment. Two loaded 60-yard dump trucks left the property, four 30-yard Dumpsters were loaded with trash, and a significant amount of trash and debris remained on the ground, officials said.
Lopez was arrested and was taken to the Charlotte County Jail.
He posted a $2,500 bond and was released.
Source: Charlotte County Sheriff's Office