Communication between vigilant neighbors led to an arrest for illegal dumping in their community only two days after the incident occurred. Kevin Smiley (6/11/54), was arrested on October 22 for dumping approximately 70 gallons of human waste onto a roadway in Punta Gorda.
Charlotte County deputies responded to the 7300 block of Cleveland Drive in Punta Gorda on October 20th after receiving a call about a large amount of human waste in the road. The deputy observed two dump locations, approximately 100 yards apart and each with a 35 gallon red tote tipped over at the spill location.
A witness in the neighborhood provided a description of a truck that was observed in the area carrying the red totes prior to the incident. The witness remembered the truck due to the foul odor around it (the witness was on a bicycle at the time).
The incident was assigned to the CCSO Environmental Investigator, Detective Traniello, on Monday, October 22. Detective Traniello examined the scene of the incident, observing a large amount of toilet paper and feminine product waste still on the side of the roadway. Upon following up on tips from witnesses, Detective Traniello located the registered owner of the suspect truck, Charles Bailey (11/1/48), at his residence of 1520 Harbor Avenue. Another tenant at the property advised that Kevin Smiley frequently drive the vehicle. Smiley was noted to match the physical description of the suspect provided by witnesses.
Detective Traniello made contact with the truck’s owner, Charles Bailey, and determined that Kevin Smiley is an employee of Bailey’s who assists in maintenance of rental properties. Kevin Smiley also provided a statement in regards to the incident. Detective Traniello’s investigation determined that Smiley was paid to remove septic waste from an address on Quail Drive. The waste was then dumped on Cleveland Drive.
Based on the findings of the investigation, and the fact that suspect Kevin Smiley made no efforts to remove, clean, or report the dumped waste, he was arrested and charged with two counts of Littering Over 500 Pounds Commercial or Hazardous Waste.
403.413 Litter law
(4) Dumping Litter Prohibited. – Unless otherwise authorized by law or permit, it is unlawful for any person to dump litter in any manner or amount: In or on any private property, unless prior consent of the owner has been given and unless such litter will not cause a public nuisance or be in violation of any other state or local law, rule or regulation
To wit: Florida Administrative Code – 62-701.300
(a) No person shall store, process or dispose of solid waste except at a permitted solid waste management facility or a facility exempt from permitting under this chapter.
This is an excellent example of community members reporting suspicious activity in their neighborhood. Our non-emergency number, (941) 639-0013, is answered 24 hours a day by a dispatcher who can send a deputy to investigate. You can also call 9-1-1 if you have an immediate concern for your safety or the safety of others.
REMEMBER- If you observe something unusual or think something looks wrong, report it. Our safe community is a partnership between all members, those with a badge and without.