DEP Environmental Crimes Unit Makes Arrest in Central Florida

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DEP Environmental Crimes Unit Makes Arrest in Central Florida

~Ronald Weeks of Groveland arrested in illegal tire dumping case~

GROVELAND, Fla. – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Central District Environmental Crimes Unit arrested Groveland resident and owner of Ron Weeks - Tire and Disposal and Sales. Weeks was charged with one felony count of littering for commercial purposes and economic gain; one misdemeanor count of nuisance injurious to health; and operating without a permit.

On Monday, Dec. 12, 2019, following a complaint, DEP law enforcement and regulatory staff conducted an inspection of the Ron Weeks – Tire and Disposal Sales site located at 1233 Youth Camp Road, Groveland, Florida.

Upon arrival, inspectors and law enforcement agents observed an assortment of over 10,000 units of waste tires, with water in most of the tires.

“Governor DeSantis has made it clear that enforcement of the state’s environmental laws is a top priority and we take this charge very seriously,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “Since last July, DEP’s new Division of Law Enforcement and Emergency Response has effectively joined forces with our regulatory staff to ensure protection of the environment and public health, and has resulted in over 75 felony and misdemeanor charges.”

DEP will hire a contractor to remove the waste tires and transport them to an approved disposal facility. Recovery of cleanup costs will be pursued through the legal process.

“We will not tolerate purposeful harm to the environment or threat to public health,” said DEP Central District Director Aaron Watkins. “I am proud of the efforts of these teams in the identification of these environmental crimes and ensuring they are being appropriately addressed.”

On January 10, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 19-12, Achieving More Now for Florida’s Environment, which directed the transfer of the Environmental Crimes Enforcement Unit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission back to DEP to better align resources focused on environmental protection and ensure strong enforcement of Florida's environmental laws.