A pile of trash dumped by a private work crew along U.S. 1 on Lower Matecumbe Key covered more than 400 square feet, a state investigator reported.
Two Broward County men — Harold Valencia-Camayo, 48, and Erick S. Ruiz Torres, 22, both of Tamarac — were arrested on felony commercial-dumping counts by Investigator Paul Hein of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission after the 1:30 p.m. Wednesday incident. A teenaged worker also was charged.
Hein said he was parked in his unmarked patrol car near mile marker 73 when he saw two men “actively throwing black trash bags from the [open] trailer to the ground.”
When questioned, Valencia-Camayo admitted he was discarding debris from a bathroom renovation at a Kendall residence and needed to empty the trailer “to carry the stuff that we need” for a job in Marathon, Hein wrote. Valencia-Camayo claimed that another law officer told him that dumping the trash was allowed but he could not identify the officer. The defendant then stopped talking.
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While Monroe County residents were allowed to discard hurricane debris along U.S. 1 after Hurricane Irma, that temporary waiver never applied to commercial operators or out-of-county residents.
Ruiz Torres said he and the juvenile were unloading the bags at Valencia-Camayo’s instructions.
“The debris included broken tile, [a] bathroom sliding door, sinks, toilets, shower heads, concrete boards for bathrooms and other miscellaneous construction debris,” Hein reported. “The pile measured approximately 13 feet wide by 34 feet long.”
Valencia-Camayo was booked into the Plantation Key Detention Center under a $3,500 bond. Ruiz Torrez, who confessed to having a small amount of marijuana concealed in his crotch, additionally was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession and given a $6,500 bond.
Kevin Wadlow: 305-440-3206