Elsa Man Upset Over Illegal Dumpsite near Property

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ELSA – An Elsa man says people are using the area near his home as their personal dump site.

"This place used to be beautiful out here," said Nieves Tamez, "the farms and the ranches."

That was the case for Tamez until recently.

"Well, we have a lot of illegal dumping," said Tamez.

Tamez tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS the problem is getting worse. It started out with tires, household trash and construction materials. Now it's becoming a final resting place for animals.

"It evolved into dead animals. We had the dog and the pony. Around the corner, we have some goats."

Hidalgo County built a dump here a few years ago. You need a permit to leave your trash there. Tamez thinks this may be part of the issue.

"So people get turned away," said Tamez. "So what do they do? They just go around the corner over there and dump it."

Hidalgo County Precinct 5 Constables are responsible for investigating illegal dumpsites in the area. Constable Danny Marichalar says Tamez may have a point.

"If they don't have that permit they're going to be rejected," said Marichalar. "And that's the problem I think that we're facing right now."

His deputies investigate the complaints, looking for something pointing them in the direction of a suspect. Marichalar says this case is unusual.

"This is the first time I've seen this," Marichalar tells us. "I don't know what they're doing this but we're going to investigate it and get to the bottom of this."

The cases are then referred to the Hidalgo County Pct. 1 Commissioner's Office for abatement.

Spokesperson Jose Cabeza de Vaca says in a statement, "in an effort to protect and promote the health, safety, welfare of the residents of Hidalgo County Pct. 1 we collaborate with the community and authorities for better control and prevention of illegal dumping throughout the area... An offense under this section shall result in prosecution."

Marichalar tells us those found guilty could face fines or jail time.

The Precinct 5 constable's office was reestablished last year. The department was eliminated in 2012.

Marichalar tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS they're facing a shortage of manpower and resources. We'll continue to follow this story as it unfolds.


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