Even though it is free to bring hurricane debris to any county transfer station, two Key Largo men allegedly decided Grassy Key would be a better spot Saturday morning — and it wasn’t free.
Just days after Monroe officials made it illegal to add to the hurricane debris piles on the side of U.S. 1, Brian Walker, 54, and Erin Harbour, 47, of Key Largo were found in a truck at mile marker 58, Grassy Key, said Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Deputy Becky Herrin.
Next to the truck, which was stuck in the sand, was an empty trailer next to a pile of tree limbs, leaves and stumps, she said.
Walker and Harbour reportedly denied dumping the debris. When asked why the truck and trailer were on the roadside, stuck in the sand, Walker told several different stories about where he was going and what he was doing, Herrin said.
Walker even offered to clean up the debris for a fee, she said.
Police were able to tell Walker and Harbor dumped the debris because there were pieces of it still in the trailer that matched the pile dumped alongside the highway, Herrin said.
“There were tire tracks from the trailer leading underneath the pile of debris. The pile of dumped debris measured 40 feet long, by 12 feet wide, by 8 feet high and exceeded the felony amount of 500 pounds,” she said.
Walker and Harbour were arrested for felony illegal dumping, booked into the Plantation Key jail and released Sunday morning.
The Florida Department of Transportation will do a final sweep of U.S. 1 in the coming weeks. Nov. 30, the county made it illegal to add to the debris piles that have been growing since September’s Hurricane Irma.
County residents can still bring hurricane debris to any county transfer station for free disposal.
Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219