The landowner contacted his tenant for clarification after a neighbor called about the stable flow of trash piled up on five acres of land in the countryside of Redland.
According to Miami-Dade police, he was threatened rather than answered. They threatened the landlord, Edel Reyes Arteaga, who had leased land on 17800 SW 197th Ave. For the past six years, to “destroy the property and fill it with garbage” if the owner did not fork. He says he tried to squeeze. $ 100,000.
But police said Reyes Arteaga was trying to do it anyway.
Five weeks ago, 38-year-old Reyes Arteaga was arrested in a sting operation conducted by an illegal dumper in Miami-Dade. He is faced with littering, blackmail, and intimidation for failing to obtain proper environmental permits. According to police, the property was filled with everything from construction debris to rusty tables, old windows, and lots of worn rubber tires. The mix even had an old travel trailer.
“He was facing an eviction. He got over it,” said detective Ryan Kwart of the county’s illegal dumping unit. “Sadly, it’s not uncommon. There was another similar arrest a few weeks ago.”
Art Taquechel, a lawyer at Reyes-Arteaga, called extortion charges nonsense. He said it was only part of the purchase option effort that lasted for months between his clients and owners.
“The accusation was formulated by the owner to expel Edel because he found a buyer,” Takechel said.
Illegal dumping is a persistent problem throughout the county, with farms, nurseries and vast lands checkered, especially in less populated areas such as South Miami-Dade. Over the past few months, Miami-Dade’s illegal dumping units have stepped up enforcement, especially on properties such as those on Southwest 197th Avenue. They say the tenant was making money as the pile of rusted appliances and the pile of rubber tires increased.
Bust is also frequent. Just three weeks before Reyes Arteaga was arrested, the unit gave two other men the necessary permits after stopping the operation of a dump truck to an illegal dumping site within two miles of the grounds on 197th Avenue southwest. I was charged with illegal dumping.
In December, a Miami Herald reporter accompanied the county troops. Abandoned vessel from Lake South Dade I searched for clues to the trash that was abandoned in the fields of South Dade.
“These people show up on our radar,” Cowart said. “It only takes time to catch them.”
For Redland residents, illegal dumping has turned into a community problem.
Michael Wanek, chairman of the Redland Homes and Farms Association, created a group two years ago with the goal of paying attention to the illegal dumping and unauthorized parcels of abandoned and illegally parked trucks. The number of members has increased to about 50 households. Mr. Wanek, who owns five acres of land, said he noticed that someone was throwing tires into his property just a few weeks ago.
After flying the drone and chasing the property on 197th Southwest, Wanek said his chin had fallen.
“I’ve never seen anything like this, except perhaps in a landfill in India,” he said. “This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen. This is the three alarm bells. This is Code Red.”
Surrounded by a well-maintained farm, the garbage dump on 197th Southwest Street was slightly disguised as a 5-foot wire mesh fence covered with blue tarpaulins. However, last month’s visit revealed from the outside that areas with no signs or addresses were confused. The wetlands were littered with plastic, beer cans and corona bottles.
Wanek’s aerial footage provided more evidence of garbage. Fences, plastic barrels, old trees and roots were scattered throughout the premises. Wanek’s aerial photographs also showed old ladders, broken window frames, and even beach umbrellas. A huge pile of tires, which is not allowed in most landfills in Florida, fills a corner of the garbage dump.
A spokesman for Miami-Dade’s Department of Environmental Resources, Teleflorin, said the county inspected assets and determined that debris would not pose an imminent threat to public health or groundwater supply.
“Currently, there is no evidence of fuel, drums, or other waste that could lead to pollution,” Florin said. “DERM staff are working on waste removal and have met with real estate owners who are working with DERM to follow disposal best practices.”
Miami-Dade real estate records list the owner as Fidalgo Auto Center Inc. State records list Carlos Fidalgo as a director and registered agent of the company. The Reyes-Alteaga arrest report does not provide the full name of the landowner, but identifies a man named “Carlos” as the property owner and victim. Attempts to reach Fidalgo this week have failed.
Police said they learned about the property in early February from a landowner who had been warned by a neighbor. The owner contacted police after allegedly being blackmailed. Soon, the detective noticed a white Ford truck with a black dump bed full of garbage, chased it to the property, and said it was unloaded there.
According to Cowart, Reyes-Arteaga or his associates are offered by the county through the “Coconut Telegraph” or by hanging out at the county’s dumps, offering drivers a cheap alternative of $ 100 per pop. You will find a truck driver looking for a cheaper garbage dump than you can. .. The county charges $ 93.11 per ton of waste, often in long-row facilities.
According to Cowart, his unit is working with the Miami-Dade County Prosecutor’s Office to prepare for execution. And he said, “this has casualties,” at least in the case of Reyes Arteaga. He said that Florida was usually the only victim.
Mayor Daniela Levin Cava said he had recovered funds for execution, installed security cameras and revived midnight patrols.
As for Reyes Arteaga, police claim he has repeatedly committed. The stolen equipment and trailer were recovered from the property last November, but there are no court records showing that he was indicted.
Mary Waters, a former member of the community council, said she recognizes that the dumping issue is a county-wide issue. The South Dade residents seem to be “screaming loudest about this,” she said. A 32-year-old farmer living in Redland believes that garbage is not suitable for groundwater and soil, and that loose debris can turn into hurricanes and dangerous projectiles.
“Everyone thinks this is a western pioneer era and they can get over it,” Waters said. “And sadly, sometimes they do.”