POLK COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested a fourth person on a felony illegal dumping charge Thursday.
Foster Wayne Oliver, 56, of Livingston, was arrested and charged with felony illegal dumping. Deryl Oates, Polk County's environmental officer, said the charge is considered a felony if the junk is more than 1,000 pounds or more than 200 cubit feet.
Oliver's arrest comes on the heels of three other arrests in connection to illegal dumping. Oates said the first three suspects are accuse of keeping too much junk on their respective properties.
According to Oates Stormy Lee Early, 36, of Onalaska, and Franklin Joeseph Steep, 62, and Teresa Estell Stepp, 48, both of Livingston, were all charged with felony dumping.
Officers with the Onalaska Police Department arrested Early on the warrant on Saturday. Franklin Stepp and Teresa Stepp turned themselves into authorities Tuesday.
"I have worked for at least a year with the people we are getting the warrants on, some of them a little over a year," Oates said. "Some of them clean up a little bit, and it gets worse than it was before."
Oates said neighbors complained they were burning tires in the yard, and people were bringing brush for them to burn, which is illegal, Oates said. They also had washers, dryers, and an old junk truck in their yard, he said.
Oates also said that he has been working with Early for several years, adding that he has sent her notices and given her time to clean up her property. The Polk County environmental officer said Early was arrested on a Class B misdemeanor charge related to the junk last year.
Oates said he has been serving as the Polk County environmental officer for five years, and he now has six more active felony warrants out for people who have too much trash in their yards.
"Across the county, I am working 400 cases," Oates said. "I am trying to help clean up the county. It not only looks bad, but it is also putting a lot of toxic chemicals into the air."
Oates said he gets a lot of the support from the sheriff's office and the commissioner's court.