Company charged with illegally dumping hurricane debris

Published: May. 22, 2019 at 12:40 PM EDT
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News

May 22, 2019

JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) – The owner of a debris removal company is charged with illegally dumping wreckage from Hurricane Michael.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says officers responding to complaints found a large pile of storm debris along Baker Creek Road in Jackson County. The trash pile included pieces from a metal building, metal roofing, wood, shingles and other debris. There was so much debris, the county had to remove it with heavy equipment, according to an official report.

A witness took photos of a truck dumping the debris and turned them over to FWC. Investigators then used the photos to track down the debris removal company, J.L. Hayes Transport, out of Sebring. .

The company's owner, Jamie Lee Hayes, now faces charges of dumping more than 500 pounds and scheming to defraud.

Hayes told investigators he came to the area to do storm debris removal because he had heard "there was money to be made here," according to the police report. The document says Hayes denied dumping the debris and told officers someone must have stolen his truck, used it to dump the debris and then brought it back to where he had parked it.

FWC officers tracked down three homeowners who had paid to have debris removed from their properties. They told investigators Hayes charged them $500 each and said he was taking the debris to an approved disposal site.

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