Middle Keys man charged with felony dumping

Even organic waste can get you jailed if dumped in large quantities.

Key Colony Beach resident Lawrence Blessinger, 64, found that out Friday when he was charged with felony dumping for allegedly dumping more than 500 pounds of yard waste in a lot at the end of Pescayo Avenue in the Coco Plum area of Marathon. He was jailed and has since been released on his own recognizance, and his truck was impounded for possible forfeiture.

Becky Herrin, spokeswoman for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, says Blessinger's arrest by Sgt. Joel Slough came following "numerous complaints from residents in the area of illegal dumping."

She says Slough was patrolling Coco Plum about 11 a.m. Friday when he saw Blessinger drive a black pickup away from the end of Pescayo Avenue. "Several piles" of yard waste had been dumped in the area.

Slough pulled Blessinger over at U.S. 1 and Coco Plum Drive and found yard trimmings in the truck similar to the ones in the pile on Pescayo. A woman in the truck with Blessinger said Blessinger was paying her to help with landscaping, and that he'd dumped yard waste at the same site "on several occasions," Herrin said. The passenger was not arrested.