A task force is stepping up efforts to identify and prosecute people who are illegally dumping trash in Harris County.
The Environmental Crimes Task Force, a joint effort between the Harris County Precinct 1 and Precinct 5 constable's offices, is deploying extra resources and even cameras to chronic dumping areas.
Three people have been charged with illegal dumping this week, accused of dumping tires and landscaping waste in the 8200 block of James Franklin. Investigators said Aadran Lewis and James "Jamar" Houston were identified through surveillance footage in the Acres Homes community.
Houston was arrested Friday morning and told Local 2 he was unaware dumping the tires was illegal.
"Honestly, I made a mistake and I apologize... I was riding with someone and they asked me to put it there. There was already tires there so I thought the city was going to pick it up," said Houston.
Houston added he learned his lesson and wouldn't be returning to the Acres Homes area to dump trash.
"I'll go back if you want me to clean it up, but other than that, you won't see me dumping tires anymore," said Houston.
Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen said the 8200 block of James Franklin is just the first area where the county is stepping up its efforts, calling it an issue that affects residents' quality of life.
"We try to find chronic illegal dumping areas and we put resources to it. And we are making cases. We've been in the Acres Creek area for three weeks and we've made numerous arrests and numerous cases," said Rosen.
Rory Douglas was also charged this week. Rosen said he has a landscaping business and was seen dumping trees and lawn clippings in the area, rather than paying to have them disposed of properly. Douglas is believed to have run away as officers tried to arrest him Friday.
If you know where Douglas can be located, you are asked to call the Precinct 1 Constable's Office at 713-755-7676.