Timing is everything… even with garbage

EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY- Deputy Mark Seals of the Pct. 4 Constable’s Office supervised yet another illegal dumping cleanup Sunday night, but it was not because he went looking for a violation. Thanks to poor judgment and worse timing, the violation found him.

Seals and Deputy Drew Sharp were on FM 3083 near Old Houston Rd. in Grangerland en route to their New Caney office after taking prisoners to the county jail, when flashing lights from the Family Dollar store caught their attention.

“Something set off the motion detector behind the store,” Seals said.

While Sharp checked the store to see if someone tried to break in, Seals was busy donning his plastic gloves and checking out some garbage bags behind the store. There was no sign of a break-in. However, the garbage outside of the dumpsters came from a residence in the nearby Country West subdivision. Seals and Sharp went to the home and confronted 19-year-old Carson Lee McKinnon, who admitted he dumped the garbage behind the store about 10 minutes earlier. McKinnon and a friend agreed to go and clean up the mess and the deputies accompanied them.

“At first they threw the bags into the store’s dumpster, and I asked them what they were doing,” Seals said. “I told them they couldn’t do that either.”

Seals said using someone else’s dumpster is also a crime, called “theft of service.” He told McKinnon he wanted to see a receipt showing he properly disposed of the garbage at an approved facility, instead of illegally dumping it elsewhere. McKinnon was unhappy about putting the garbage inside his Jeep Cherokee, but he had no choice, Seals said.

When Pct. 4 officers find evidence someone is dumping illegally, the suspect is given the choice of cleaning up the mess and receiving a citation, or receiving a citation and going to jail. So far, all have chosen to clean up the mess. A citation for illegal dumping carries a fine of $250 to $500.

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