A man facing a felony charge for an illegal dumping of 44 used tires off Old Highway 1 made his first court appearance Monday.
“I really didn’t know it was such a big deal with tires,” Roger L. Dickens, 47, said Monday afternoon in Richmond County Magistrate Court.
Dickens and another man suspected of dumping tires on empty city lots are the first people to face felony charges in illegal dumping cases in Richmond County. Both cases were made by the Richmond County Marshal’s Office.
“It’s a horrible problem,” Marshal Chief Deputy Scott Peebles said. In the first 10 months of Marshal Ramone Lamkin’s tenure, his officers have spent a lot of time to acquire equipment and train officers on aggressively investigating these cases, Peebles said.
“We’re taking it seriously and giving it as much time and effort as we can,” he said.
The Marshal’s Office first arrest was of Octavious Mack on Aug. 28. That case started with a call from a resident who reported the dumping of 158 scrap tires on Lyman Street on July 14. A resident saw the tires after seeing a dump truck leave the area, Peebles said.
The information helped Cpl. Brian Boyd track down other tire dump sites and locate the dump truck of a possible suspect. Boyd used the information to obtain a search warrant which gave him the authority to attach a tracking device to the truck, according to court records.
The device, however, actually exonerated the suspect, Peebles said.
But it still helped the Marshal’s Office turn the investigation in another direction, Peebles said.
Thursday’s arrest of Dickens is part of the department’s push to enforce the law and city ordinance to hold those who buy or sell used tires responsible for their proper disposal, Peebles said. They are required to ensure scrap tires are only taken or sent to certified disposal sites.
The judge set a $10,000 bond for Dickens.
At Tuesday’s Engineering Services Committee meeting, members will get an update on city departments’ joint efforts to enforce code enforcement, which includes efforts to clean up the city. The Marshal’s Office wants to hire a code coordinator at a cost of $64,400 for salary and vehicle for the rest of the year.
Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.