EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KTVI)-- Authorities in East St. Louis are declaring a war on illegal dumping after the discovery of a former night club turned into a massive tire dump.
Illegal dumping has become so common in East St. Louis, people don't even worry about being caught or being punished if they do get caught, police said.
After someone phoned in a tip Wednesday afternoon, police found an SUV pulling a trailer full of old tires at the former Club Casino/Club VIP at 6830 State Street.
The club closed after three young men were shot to death in the parking lot in September of 2012.
Two suspects were caught in the act of unloading more than 50 tires into the building.
“The whole thing about this is, dumping in East St. Louis, we’ve really been having a huge problem with that,” said East St. Louis Police Chief, Michael Floore.
“It’s an ongoing problem. When we catch them, we prosecute them to full extent of the law. It’s just a matter of catching them,” said Robert Betts, of the East St. Louis Department of Regulatory Affairs. “We’ve caught violators in Missouri coming over state lines, dumping in Illinois, in East St. Louis. It’s just unacceptable. “
In this case, Patrick Singleton, 32, of Granite City and Robert Evans, 34, of O’Fallon, IL, are charged with felony counts of illegal dumping.
They were just piling on, police said.
Officers found a mountain of more than 1,000 tires in the former night club. The lock on a rear door was broken.
It appeared Singleton and Evans offered to dispose old tires for a fee, police said.
“We do have more than 1,000 tires in there. There’s no telling how many trips they made down here,” Floore said.
He also said they probably weren’t the only ones dumping tires there.
“There’s this attitude that you can dump in East St. Louis and nothing’s going to happen to you. This is indicative as to what will happen if we catch you. If we catch you, you’re going to be in big trouble,” Betts said.
Singleton and Evans were jailed with bail set at $40,000 each.
They face 1-3 years in prison if convicted.
Authorities have begun installing surveillance cameras to catch dumpers.
If you see it happening, don't just take it, report it. Call East St. Louis Police at 618-482-6700
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