COLUMBUS, Ohio (July 19, 2010)—After an investigation by the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio's Environmental Crimes Task Force, three men were indicted by the Franklin County Grand Jury on charges of illegal scrap tire hauling and dumping.
SWACO said Rickey Hess of Utica, Ohio, was accused of four counts each of illegal transportation and dumping; Rodney Hall of Columbus, Ohio, faces four counts of illegal transportation and one count of dumping; and Stephen Green of Gahanna, Ohio, was charged with one count of illegal transportation. Each count carries a maximum penalty of a jail term and $25,000 in fines.
The Environmental Crimes Task Force said Hess, a used tire dealer, dumped between 150 and 200 used tires he could not sell in his store. Hall was arrested by county sheriff's deputies after a car chase, when his pickup was overflowing with old tires in December, and also was caught dumping tires behind a Columbus apartment complex in September. Green was stopped for hauling tires when previous court terms prohibited him from transporting the scrap material.
SWACO Executive Director Ron Mills said the agency polices illegal dumping for health concerns.
“These are serious crimes. Especially at this time of the year when we see frequent rains and heavy heat, we know that mosquitoes will breed in standing water held by dumped tires,” he said. “Besides the health risk, this is an obvious eyesore in our community that we cannot tolerate.”
The Environmental Crimes Task Force of Central Ohio is funded by SWACO. The unit consists of deputies from the Franklin County, Ohio, Sheriff's Office, a prosecutor from the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office, representatives from the Franklin County Health Department and an employee of the Columbus Public Service Department.