Troubleshooters Story Moves County to Action
POSTED: Thursday, August 26, 2010 - 11:17am
UPDATED: Thursday, August 26, 2010 - 10:25pm
EL PASO- Denise Moran and her husband own land on the far east section of Montana Avenue. Their ground is littered with discarded trash.
Since we first aired the Moran's story last week, we've talked to several neighbors with the same problem as Denise.
We sat down with lead environmental prosecutor Cristina Viesca-Santos. She's handled all 62 illegal dumping cases the county has received this year.
"People will dump because of convenience, and because it's cheaper to illegally dispose of the waste. And they don't think they're going to get caught," she says.
So what can be done about it? The Sheriff's Department is in charge of catching people who trash land.
"Anybody who is going by and sees a truck going into a vacant lot should be calling the Sheriff's Department...A lot of the cases I've received from the Sheriff's Department, that's how they catch them," says Viesca-Santos.
She also says identifying trash owners, through items like mail, is enough to prosecute offenders.
The County Attorney's Office will request increased patrols in the Montana Vista area we reported from last week.
Viesca-Santos says the answer lies not with police, but with neighbors being vigilant.
"People need to really pay attention and report these crimes. Until they're caught, they're just going to continue doing it," she says.