Three Illegal Dump Sites Shut Down; 5 Arrested

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(Memphis) A small army of police decended on Dillard Road in Raleigh Wednesday morning.

"The judge told us to post some signs," Assist. District Attorney Paul Hagerman said to Debra Nesbit.

Three properties, owned by Nesbit, Mable Sutton and Larry Brunson, are now considered public nuisances.

"If anyone comes to dump here you have to send them away," he said.

News Cannel 3 got a first hand look at the piles and piles of trash, mostly construction materials brought here illegally by dump trucks.

We first told you about the dumping grounds last month.

Brunson didn't want to answer our questions then, but now he must answer to a Shelby County judge.

He was indicted on vandalism and dumping charges after a nearly 18 month investigation by TDEC.

In the last year alone he was given 8 citations from the health department, and he has a long record of illegal dumping charges.

Some of his land is such an environmental hazard trees lining his dump site are dead.

"This has obviously been going on for years and years and now we have an enormous mess," Hagerman said.

Investigators say the largest illegal dumpsite in the area is one where you actually can't see any trash.

That's because it's underground.

Investigators say at some spots, its 20 feet deep.

The site is behind Mable Sutton's home, "Why my momma did it is her own personal reasons," Sutton's son Spencer said. "They're making more out of this than really is."

The district attorney's office says an aerial photo taken a year ago of her home shows mounds and mounds of the illegaly dumped material before it was covered up.

Sutton, Brunson, and Nesbit were all arrested for vandalism and face 8-40 years behind bars.

Police also arrested city contracted worker, Warren Payne, for using Sutton's dumpsite. His uncle, Oneal Payne was also arrested.

Warren Payne told News Channel 3 he never dumped on that property.

No one is sure who will end up paying for the dump sites to be cleaned up.

The District Attorney General Amy Weirich said that will be decided in court.

The next court date is May 20th.

We were told just one corner of Brunson's lot will cost $150,000 to clean.