TPG Cites Two For Illegal Dumping Into Washley Creek
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller
ROBERT—Thanks to a concerned citizen and the investigative efforts of the Tangipahoa Parish Code Enforcement team, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, and agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, a local creek has been cleared of approximately 100 tires that were dumped in that waterway by a local man.
Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller said a citizen complaint led Code Enforcement Officers to begin an investigation into an illegal dump site on Doc Hyde Road into the Washley Creek, just east of Robert. Over the course of a two-day investigation and clean-up, authorities identified two men who have been cited in connection with the tires and their illegal disposal.
Miller said Jeremy Zawacki, 32, and Bobby Creekmore, 68, both of Robert, were cited for gross littering as outlined under La. R.S. 30:2531.1.
Investigators say, Creekmore, who is operating a tire business, paid Zawacki $200 to dispose of the tires. When investigators questioned Zawacki, they say he admitted to dumping the tires and then went to work removing them from the creek.
Tangipahoa Parish Code Enforcement worked with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to conduct this investigation and identify the suspects.
“This is the latest example of our Parish Government and the Parish Council’s commitment to stop illegal dumpsites in our beautiful parish,” Miller said. He applauded the teamwork involved in solving this case, noting that the parish has “doubled its efforts, tripled our personnel, and exponentially expanded our partnerships to create a unified task force focusing on litter and illegal dumping in Tangipahoa Parish.”
TPSO Chief of Operations James Travis said his office is proud to partner with Parish Government on this task.
“While littering has always been a crime in Tangipahoa Parish, our office has really stepped up efforts to locate and charge those who are responsible for illegal dumping,” Travis said, adding that TPSO has assigned a longtime criminal investigator to work hand-in-hand with Code Enforcement to ensure cases are air-tight to deliver to the courts.
Miller and Travis agreed that the team pursues the toughest penalties allowed by law in these cases.
“When we talk about the impact, it’s not just about aesthetics,” Miller said, adding that this illegal dumpsite could have caused serious issues for residents in the area, which has been impacted by creek flooding in the past. He said that if the parish crews had been called out to clean up the mess, it would have cost upwards of $1,400 for a team of five employees and the necessary equipment to remediate the situation.
Miller said the gross littering citation carries a maximum $900 fine for a first offense along with 16 hours of community service and up to 30 days in jail if convicted.
This is just one of several active cases that Code Enforcement officers are investigating this week. Miller said citizens with concerns about littering or illegal dumping can contact the Code Enforcement Office at (985) 602-9081. They can also email email@example.com or file a complaint on the Tangipahoa.org website at https://tangipahoa.org/government/code-enforcement/report-a-concern. Residents can also report concerns anonymously through Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa by calling 1-800-554-5245 or using their website, https://www.tangicrimestoppers.com. You may be eligible for a cash reward if your information helps authorities make an arrest in a case.